What’s cooking in Senegal?
Indeeki (read in-deeh-ki – meaning breakfast): the locals eat “fonde” (fon-deh) which is millet porridge with sour milk. But I usually eat baguette bread spread with imported margarine and local (unfiltered) honey. There is an excellent local peanut butter producers’ coop in Wack N’gouna, but since peanut and I don’t agree well together (regarding diet compatibility), I keep my bread peanut-free.
An (an-nyuh – lunch): we usually have large portions of rice (seasoned with lots of oil and spices) and fish (mackerel, sea bass, small freshwater fish, etc. – they come fresh, dried, or smoked). The dish comes with some vegetable (a piece of bitter tomato, red pepper, eggplant, cassava, carrot, onion, okra, radish) – all thrown into a big plate-bowl.
This dish is the quintessential “Tiep bou diene” (Jjiep-bu-jen – rice with fish) and we eat it almost every lunch. I eat at my host family, and since I don’t eat meat, fish became my primary source of protein these days. However, unfortunately, I can’t have too much fish either (again with my diet system), which make my daily protein intake quite low.
Reer (reh-err – supper): A smaller portion of rice or pasta with sauce (different kinds of sauce with mango, sorrel, peanut, tomato, or onion), a piece of meat or fish, and some lettuce salad if available. I asked my host mother and sister to cook beans for me, and sometimes I get a plate full of beans for supper.
Personally, I have no problem adjusting to local food – except meat and some ingredients that I try not to overeat (like those that don’t agree with my digestion system). What I find plenty in my diet: loads of sugar (in tea and local juice), carbohydrate (rice, bread and pasta), and oil. What I find lacking in my diet: fresh dairy product, fruits and veggies, and decent dessert. Better find a happy medium.