African / African-Inspired


One-Pot Joloff Rice

A cookbook devoted to all of the great rice dishes of the world. Now that would be a dream project: Traveling from country to country researching the most authentic versions along with the myriad regional variations, traditional and contemporary, that would surely exist. Such rice dishes, where every biteful

Joloff Rice—Fancy Style

  The Indians have turmeric, the Europeans, beets, and the Africans, palm oil—an intensely colored oil extracted from the fruits of the oil palm that adds a shot of deep orange-red color to whatever food it touches, including this

African Drinking Chocolate

Grains of Paradise. This, the most poetic and beguiling of the names for melegueta, a pungent spice native to West Africa, has finally found a place in my kitchen. I learned of grains of paradise years ago in an early colonial hearth cooking class. The instructor, clad in a period-style dress, had many antique props, […]

A Soup for Peanut Lovers

Does two of anything make a trend? If so, peanut soup is trending in Vermont, where I live. I’ve enjoyed peanut butter–pumpkin soup at the nearby South Royalton Market, and peanut curry soup at Cockadoodle Pizza Café in the neighboring town of Bethel, where it was recently the soup of the day. Both were delicious […]

Collards—from Sir Prince to Ethiopia

It was at 2551 Kennilworth Road in Cleveland where I had my first taste of collard greens. They were a gift from “Sir Prince,” who dated Miss Anna Szolnoky in apartment 2B, across the hall from me. A retired school teacher who still sometimes substitute taught, Anna evoked another age: She typically wore dresses, accentuating […]




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