Another West African country, Senegalese people are used to eating spicy food. What makes it stand out among other West African cuisines is the French and Portuguese influence that blends well with North African inspired dishes. The introduction of Islam also changed the recipes, giving us the peanut-infused stewed dishes that Senegal is known for. Even if you can’t get a hold of native Senegalese ingredients, we’re here to help you learn how to master these recipes.
Senegalese cuisine is a West African cuisine inspired by North African, French, and Portuguese cuisines, and it is derived from the country’s diverse ethnic groups, the most populous of which being the Wolof. The cuisine incorporates elements of Islam, which originally arrived in the area in the 11th century. Until 1960, Senegal was a French colony. Emigrants have taken Senegalese cuisine to many other countries since its colonialism. Because Senegal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, seafood plays a significant role in Senegalese cuisine. Due to the country’s mostly Muslim population, chicken, lamb, peas, eggs, and beef are also utilized, but pork is not. Peanuts, Senegal’s main crop, are also used, as are couscous, white rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, black-eyed peas, and different vegetables. Cuts of meat and veggies are usually simmered or seasoned in herbs and spices before being served over rice, couscous, or bread. Bissap, ginger, bouye (pronounced ‘buoy,’ which is the fruit of the baobab tree, also known as “monkey bread fruit”), mango, or various fruit or wild trees, most notably soursop, also known as corossol in French, are all popular fresh juices. Desserts are rich and sweet, blending locally sourced ingredients with the luxury and sophistication associated with the French influence on Senegal’s culinary practices. They’re commonly presented with fresh fruit and are usually followed by a cup of coffee or tea. Attaya, or ceremonial tea, is offered in a ceremonial manner.
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