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Flavors of Burkina Faso
Flavors of Burkina Faso
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A Culinary Journey
Burkina Faso is a land of upright men, a country straight out of a fairy tale, a place of legend filled with ancient rites, traditions and sites. 

Sorghum in all its colors accounts for almost half of Burkina Faso’s agricultural production. Along with timothy or herd’s grass, it is the best-known local grain crop and a staple of the local diet, both in cities and rural areas, where it is eaten as “tô,” a dough made by combining sorghum flour with hot water and solidifying it. Tô is generally eaten twice a day, though less often in more well-to-do families, where it is alternated with rice, acha (fonio) or imported foods.

Here sorghum is also transformed into dolo, a local beer.

Faced with the increased price of certain luxury foods, people in Burkina Faso have even starting making a sorghum “popcorn.” Minoungou Sophie, a Ouagadougou housewife, had the idea of perfecting puffed sorghum, a major achievement when one learns that sorghum kernels are very hard and won’t pop, even at high temperature. Mrs. Sophie explains that she soaks them for 12 hours, then half dries them, then sautés them in a little oil before salting them.

In Burkina, nothing is wasted and the whole unpopped grains are caramelized and sold as “crunch,” a children’s candy.

 
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