Friday, September 19, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit White House Dinner

The U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit touched down in the city I currently call home, Washington D.C., two weeks ago. Wherever you went, you would see the different African contingents at conferences, out to dinner, and even shopping at local malls.

From Algeria to Zambia, President Obama welcomed leaders from across the African continent to the nation’s capital for a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first such event of its kind. The Summit, the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government, built on the President’s trip to Africa in the summer of 2013 and aimed to strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions.

On the final day of the Summit, Barack and Michelle Obama hosted all 50 attending leaders and their spouses at a state dinner at the White House. It was a grand affair with a delicious menu and Lionel Richie performing for the dignitaries.

 First question I had was, how do you feed and satisfy leaders from all these African countries?! Eventually when I saw the menu and read up on how the White House chef and her staff chose to cater the dinner, it was quite a fascinating read. I ended up tweeting about it. Here is what I said:

Monday, July 28, 2014

How Africans celebrated Eid

First Published: August 14, 2013
Just under 422 million africans are muslim and this is a celebratory time in their religious calendar to signify the end of Ramadan, a month long of fasting. On the ninth month of the Islamic calendar every year, muslims allover the world observe this ritual as part of the five pillars of Islam.

Ramadan, and Eid, for that matter are not new to me. Growing up in Nairobi, I had friends who were different sects of Christianity (catholic, protestant, Mormon), Muslim, Hindu, Sikh etc.

My earliest memory of Eid was the fact that my Muslim friends got to miss school on that particular day.  That alone made Eid attractive to me. Their feasts during Ramadan were legendary, but on Eid, they took it to the next level. 

Around Africa,  these same big feasts are being cooked and serve to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr , a three day festival. After prayers at sunrise in the mosque, a celebratory family meal is shared. Its also a time for gift-giving and traveling home to see loved ones

 The words "Eid Mubarak" mean "Blessed Feast." I love that! Food plays a vital role in religios celebrations from Christmad to Eid. I wanted to highligh some great blogs that showcase meals and dishes to celebrated Eid. Eid Mubarak everyone!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Eat, Pray, Brazil: Acaraje (Black Eyes Peas Fritters with shrimp filling)

I have mentioned the Bahian street food acaraje in at least two posts about Brazil so far. It's time to take a closer look at what that food is, and how to make it.

Acarajé is a dish made from peeled black-eyed peas formed into a ball and then deep-fried in dendê or red palm oil. It is a traditional dish of Bahia and is most often eaten as a street food. The acaraje is the descendent akara, a similar dish popular in South West and South East Nigeria. It is also found, under different names, in Ghana, Benin and Togo.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why Eat, Pray, Brazil?

flags of the countries playing in Natal

It's time to get down to business. Let's talk about why I am in Brazil. Let's talk about the food.

Yes, I have had multiple run-ins with God, struggled to be understood whilst in Brazil, and marveled at the beautiful bodies of capoeira dancers, but I am here in Brazil with two goals.

The first is, of course to watch the World Cup. The second is to discover the food.

Seeing that my Eat, Pray, Africa adventure has been delayed until further notice, I decided to consider the additional wait time as an opportunity to still discover and write about African food, but to also broaden my horizons in doing so. Hence, my expansion to include writing about the African food diaspora.

And that diaspora gets no more fascinating than in Brazil.

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