Ghana’s culinary scene is a mouthwatering mix of flavors, combining traditional staples with a wealth of local ingredients. This guide provides key tips to fully enjoy food in Ghana.
1. Try Traditional Staples
Two common staples in Ghanaian cuisine are ‘fufu,’ a dough-like mixture made from cassava and plantains, and ‘banku,’ a fermented corn and cassava dough. Both are usually served with soups or stews.
2. Savor the Soups and Stews
Ghanaian soups and stews are rich and flavorful, often containing meat, fish, and vegetables. Try ‘groundnut soup,’ made with peanuts, or ‘palm nut soup,’ both often served with fufu.
3. Enjoy Jollof Rice
Ghanaian ‘Jollof rice’ is a one-pot rice dish cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices, usually served with meat or fish. It’s a West African favorite with regional variations.
4. Taste Local Snacks
‘Kelewele,’ spicy fried plantains, and ‘bofrot,’ Ghana’s version of doughnuts, are popular street foods worth sampling.
5. Don’t Miss Seafood Dishes
Given its coastal location, Ghana offers an array of seafood dishes. ‘Kenkey’ with fried fish, a fermented corn dough with spicy, fried fish, is a must-try.
6. Explore Local Drinks
For drinks, try ‘palm wine,’ tapped from the sap of palm trees, or ‘sobolo,’ a refreshing drink made from hibiscus leaves.
7. Visit Local Markets
To get a feel for the variety of food in Ghana, visit local markets. Markets like Accra’s Makola Market are bustling with vendors selling spices, fruits, grains, and fresh fish.
8. Learn Dining Etiquette
Hand eating is common in Ghana. Always use your right hand, as the left is considered unclean. If you’re invited to a home, it’s polite to finish all the food on your plate.
9. Try Street Food
Ghana’s street food culture is vibrant and diverse. Try ‘waakye’ (rice and beans), ‘chichinga’ (kebabs), and ‘tatale’ (plantain pancakes) from street vendors.
10. Engage with Locals
Ghanaian people are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Engaging with locals can lead you to the best local eats and hidden gems.
The culinary landscape of Ghana is a testament to the country’s rich culture, abundant resources, and the warm hospitality of its people. From hearty stews and flavorful Jollof rice to refreshing local drinks and vibrant street food, there’s a lot to savor and enjoy in Ghanaian cuisine. Enjoy your meal or, as locals say, ‘Me ma mo akye’!