Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cameroonian food – part 2 - taste surprise

Before moving to Cameroon, I thought I knew all about the world’s foods. I was raised on American and Middle Eastern food, and was later introduced to a variety of European, Asian and North African cuisines.
At the beginning of my life in Cameroon, I’d often have lunch at my in-laws, who lived next door (we shared the same compound). One day, there was a heaping dish of light orange-colored sliced plantains. I thought to myself, “I didn’t know they used curry here!” and helped myself to a plateful. At the first bite, however, I realized my error: these plantains had nothing to do with curry. The orange-colored seasoning was red palm oil, and it tasted unlike anything I had ever eaten before. At that point, I really didn’t like it, and I thought I was not a fussy person!
The dish is called Miellé ma Sésé. The plantains are boiled and then mixed with the palm oil, and shaken till the oil has coated everything.