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The main staple food is tô, a kind of paste prepared with millet or corn flour. It is eaten lukewarm and accompanied by a sauce. The most popular sauces are made with baobab and/or sorrel leaves and contain condiments, which vary from region to region. Shea butter or groundnut paste is frequently added. In the southernmost regions yams are grown and eaten, while in the north, especially among the Fulbe, milk is an important part of diet. Local delicacies also include a kind of caterpillar which is highly cherished among the Bobo and which is very nourishing due to its high protein content. In rural areas, meat is rarely eaten. Livestock is primarily kept not for nutrition but to pay a bride price or to offer sacrifice. The exception is the weekly market where meat is prepared and sold. Frequently this is pork baked in an oven, considered a delicacy. In urban areas rice and pasta have replaced tô. In the morning wooden kiosks offer customers a breakfast of coffee, fried egg, and fresh French-style baguette. In Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso there is an array of international restaurants with French, Italian, Chinese, and Lebanese cuisine.

In the evenings, upperclass people sit outside in garden restaurants where beef barbecue, fried fish, and chicken are served with bottled beer. There are two national brands, Sobbra and Brakina. For the majority bottled beer is too expensive, and they drink the popular locally brewed millet beer called dolo instead. It is always prepared by a woman, the dolotière, who runs a bar called a cabaret. Dolo is served in a calabash after having been cooked for over three days in huge jars. The preparation of dolo is an important income for rural women and the millet beer varies in strength and taste according to region. Bangui is a palm wine made in the Banfora region. Other locally-prepared drinks are liquor, soured milk ( gappal ), and juice made from the fruit of the tamarind tree, ginger, or bissap leaves. In the north and west, tea plays an important role.

Meat is rare in daily dishes, but is eaten during ceremonial and ritual occasions including wedding ceremonies, celebrating the birth of a child, and funerals. All ethnic groups celebrate local festivals during which special food is prepared, and local beer is frequently consumed.
Muslims celebrate Tabaski, the Islamic ‘Id al-Kabir (or ‘Id al-Adha), which includes the sacrificing and eating of a ram by each family. During the month of Ramadan they are only allowed to eat and drink after sunset.

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