11 March 2011 – Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

11 Mar

Election Tension
Continues to Grow

Girls selling corn and eggs

Girls selling corn and eggs

The Meal

Meals are a community affair where talking is discouraged.  Elders eat first to ensure the food is not spoiled and rice is often rolled into a ball and used to scoop meat and sauces.  Once the meal is over a bowl of water is passed around to clean your hands.

Divine Chocolate Bars

Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is the largest exporter / producer of chocolate in the world, but they hardly use the beans in cooking.  You may have noticed Divine chocolate bars in the organic section of your grocery store, but the story behind them goes much farther than the beans themselves. web site has a good guide explaining the challenges with the production chain, how they prioritize the issues, what solutions they have put in place, and what sustainability initiatives are currently underway… including Divine chocolate bars.


Kedjenou (Whats4Eats)

Slow cooked chicken and eggplant stew.

Calalou (

Shrimp, meat, and spinach stew that crossed over to the Caribbean as a soup of the same name.

Ivory Coast Halibut (

Fish, pumpkin, coconut, and rice casserole.

Side Dishes

Foutou (

Boiled plantain and cassava mashed into balls.

Fufu (

Can be made from plantain, cassava, or even yam.  This discussion thread provides a good explanation on how it is made, the communal nature of how it is eaten, and the challenge of finding it within the United States.


Grated cassava that is dried and sold like couscous as Attieke Ivoire served as a porridge. The linked product is for sale in the UK and France.

Soupe d’Avocat Abidjanaise (Avacado Soup)

Avacado and lime soup with a hint of yogurt and Tabasco.


Aloko (Fried Bananas) – Served alone or as a side dish with grilled fish

Cornmeal Cookies



Coverage of Ivory Coast Turmoil from The Guardian

Food is running out and tensions are high.

The Chatter

The November elections of a new president is coming to a bloody head as violence escalates in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.  After 8 years of UN negotiations, and an internationality open and monitored election the incumbent Mr. Gbagbo will not step aside and let the elected Mr. Outtara take power.

Women have been murdered during demonstrations, the capitol is devolved into lawless neighborhoods fighting for survival and the international headlines continue to illuminate the escalating human crisis:

Gbagbo Vows to Block UN Flights in Ivory Coast
AU backs Ouattara as Ivory Coast leader
Ivory Coast ‘on the brink of a bloodbath’

This unrest is also affecting the world Cocoa market with the supporters of Mr. Outtara stopping the export ( uk 25 Jan 2011) to try and stop the flow of money to Mr. Gbagbo’s army.

Images used under Creative Commons:

Girls Selling Corn and Eggs by Kate Fisher

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Posted by on 11 March 2011 in Africa, Ivory Coast


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