Cuisine of Senegal
The cuisine of Senegal is a West African cuisine influenced by North African, French, and Portuguese cuisine and derives from the nation’s many ethnic groups, the largest being the Wolof. Islam, which first penetrated the region in the 11th century, also plays a role in the cuisine. Senegal was a colony of France until 1960. Ever since its colonization, emigrants have brought Senegalese cuisine to many other regions.
Because Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean, fish is very important in Senegalese cooking. Chicken, lamb, peas, eggs, and beef are also used, but pork is not due to the nation’s largely Muslim population. Peanuts, the primary crop of Senegal, as well as couscous, white rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, black-eyed peas and various vegetables, are also incorporated into many recipes. Meats and vegetables are typically stewed or marinated in herbs and spices, and then poured over rice or couscous, or eaten with bread.
Popular fresh juices are made from bissap, ginger, bouye , mango, or other fruit or wild trees. Desserts are very rich and sweet, combining native ingredients with the extravagance and style characteristic of the French impact on Senegal’s culinary methods. They are often served with fresh fruit and are traditionally followed by coffee or tea. Tea, known as Attaya, is served in a ritualistic fashion.
MOST IMPORTANT DISHES OF SENEGALESE CUISINE
Thieboudienne or ceebu jen, a traditional dish from Senegal. Made from fish, rice and tomato sauce.
Yassa is a spicy dish prepared with onion marinated poultry or marinated fish. Originally popular in Senegal, it became popular in West Africa.
Caldou is a recipe based on fish cooked in palm oil and served with vegetables and rice, served with a lime sauce.
Bassi Salte is a couscous of millet. It consists of meatballs made of mutton, sweet potatoes, potatoes, white beans, cabbage, carrots, dates, raisins and a tomato sauce.
It is called peanut or peanut stew, maafe, sauce, d’abid, tigadèguèna or domoda. Stew or sauce, a basic food in West Africa.
Lakhou bissap is a dish from Central and Western Senegal made from semolina and meat. It can be accompanied by dried fish, sorrel and tamarind and looks like a soup.