Introduction to Burkina Faso cuisine
Burkina Faso cuisine is characterized by its simplicity, with a focus on grains, vegetables, and sauces. The country’s cuisine is influenced by the diverse ethnic groups that make up its population, including the Mossi, Fulani, and Dioula. Burkina Faso’s cuisine is also influenced by the country’s climate and geography, with the north being more arid and the south being more fertile.
Influences on Burkina Faso food
Burkina Faso’s cuisine has been influenced by its neighboring countries, including Mali, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. These countries have shared their culinary traditions, ingredients, and techniques with Burkina Faso. Additionally, Burkina Faso’s cuisine has been influenced by its history of colonization and trade, with French and Arabic culinary traditions leaving their mark on the country’s food.
Staple dishes in Burkina Faso
One of the most popular dishes in Burkina Faso is tô, a porridge made from millet or sorghum flour. It is typically eaten with a sauce made from leaves, vegetables, or peanuts. Another popular dish is riz gras, a rice dish cooked with meat, vegetables, and spices. Other staple dishes include fufu, a starchy dough made from cassava or yam, and boulets de viande, meatballs typically served with a tomato-based sauce.
Vegetarian and vegan options
Burkina Faso’s cuisine offers many vegetarian and vegan options, with a focus on vegetables and grains. Some popular vegetarian dishes include yam, plantain, and vegetable stews, as well as bean and peanut sauces. Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy dishes like tô with a tomato or peanut sauce, or riz gras without the meat.
Meat dishes in Burkina Faso
Meat is an important part of Burkina Faso’s cuisine, with chicken, beef, mutton, and goat being the most commonly consumed meats. Dishes like boulets de viande and riz gras often include meat, as do kebabs and grilled meats. One unique meat dish in Burkina Faso is zarma, a type of dried and smoked fish.
Popular drinks in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s most popular drink is bissap, a hibiscus-based drink that is often sweetened with sugar and served cold. Other popular drinks include dolo, a fermented millet beer, and ginger beer. Additionally, tea is often consumed in Burkina Faso, with a unique tea culture that includes three rounds of tea, each with its own significance.
Desserts in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s desserts are often simple and sweet, with a focus on fruit and nuts. One popular dessert is mangue with lait caillé, a dish of sliced mango with curdled milk. Other desserts include peanut brittle, coconut macaroons, and sesame seed balls.
Eating customs and traditions in Burkina Faso
In Burkina Faso, meals are often eaten communally, with everyone sharing from a central bowl. It is customary to wash one’s hands before eating and to use only the right hand while eating. Additionally, it is common to offer a small portion of one’s meal to the spirits or ancestors before eating, as a way of showing gratitude and respect.