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

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.  Fairfood.org 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.

Entrees

Kedjenou (Whats4Eats)

Slow cooked chicken and eggplant stew.

Calalou (Answers.com)

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

Ivory Coast Halibut (Answers.com)

Fish, pumpkin, coconut, and rice casserole.

Side Dishes

Foutou (iAgora.com)

Boiled plantain and cassava mashed into balls.

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Posted by on 11 March 2011 in Africa, Ivory Coast

 

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9 March 2011 Dinner News – Sendai, Japan

Earthquakes Cluster in Northern Japan

Looking past the Iron Chefs and local Sushi parlors that have become part of the suburban experience around the world, take a night to visit the mountains and shore of Iwate Prefecture and bring the culture of rural Japan to your dinner table. This prefecture is known for it’s bountiful harbors, beautiful mountains, and soba noodle eating competitions:

A Trip to Iwate (Iwate Prefecture Tourism Portal Site)
Iwate Photos (Trek Earth)
Various foods from mountains and villages – Morioka, Iwate (Adventure Japan)

When planning a fundraiser for the victims or explaining to your children what life is like in the effected area consider some of the following dishes or hosting your own dinner table Wanko Soba competition. {Updated 11 March 2011 after 2nd round of earthquakes}

Host your own Wanko Soba competition

Wanko Soba

When eating at a noodle shop in this prefecture you can purchase a set number of small bowls with individual servings of soba noodles and a variety of condiments that vary per restaurant.  You may also choose to have a competition at your table as seen in the above picture.

Wearing the apron and winning the competition – remember that 15 bowls of Wanko is equal to 1 bowl at a regular soba shop

Miso Soup – step by step instructions with good photos and condiment suggestions for Miso in general.

Condiments – Tuna-Sashimi (raw fish). chicken or mushrooms with grated radish, grated yam, thin slivers of dried seaweed, green onion slices are among the options but the selection is almost limitless!

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Posted by on 9 March 2011 in Asia, Japan, Natural Disaster

 

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