27.05.2016 - Africa Department

Luncheon cocktail Africa Week

Africa Week is also an opportunity to discover the diverse culinary specialties of the continent. A tasting session of African dishes was offered by the organizing committee on Thursday, May 26, from 1pm to 3pm at the Piazza of UNESCO, led by the griot Boubacar Diabaté from Senegal.

Mr Ebengue, Councilor at the Permanent Delegation of Cameroon to UNESCO, welcomed the distinguished Ambassadors and Permanent Delegates, participants and guests. Mr. Edem Adubra, from the education  sector of UNESCO, was then invited to recite a poem called “I too” by the African American playwright, poet and columnist, Langston Hughes. This was an excellent reminder of the diversity and richness that Africa has to offer.

During the luncheons’ keynote address, H.E. Mr Jacques Kabale, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Rwanda to UNESCO and Chairperson of the UNESCO Africa Group, stated that "Africa was rich in its traditions, songs, culture and gastronomy, and that there was a fundamental difference between Western and African cuisine”. Finally, the gastronomic journey began, and here you realize that Africa is not only diverse culturally but also in a culinary sense.

In the course of this luncheon, we were given the opportunity to delight in the different culinary specialties generously laid out by countries of West and East Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa and North Africa. Tiep bou dienn from Senegal, souple kandia (okra sauce with red palm oil) from Mali, aloco (plantain fried in sunflower oil), attiéké (cassava semolina), and peanut sauce accompanied by foutou (banana semolina) from Côte d’Ivoire. From East Africa, we were given Doro watta (pancake made from sorghum and spicy chicken). Not to be outdone, Central Africa invited us to taste saka saka (cassava leaves) which was in competition with the traditional Méchoui couscous from North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco).

This unique culinary diversity excellently symbolizes the distinctive features of Africa, full of flavor.

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