Nourriture (Tuesday, 2011 August 9)

August 13, 2011
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Jen said I needed to write more about food, and a few people said I needed to put more pictures online. Both good points. Today’s post is titled nourriture, or "food", which comes from the word nourrir, "to feed" (like the English "nourish"). Somehow that always seems backwards to me, like food is the more elementary thing and then feeding that food to someone should be the complicated word: food and enfoodenate, something like that.

I was in Yaoundé for the ICT committee meeting so here’s some typical "what I eat in Yaoundé" food.

I got in at night, and between laziness and convenience is this dinner. It’s all purchased at the "Corner Store", the supermarché nearest the office (Timothy purchased something from this store once). Hamburger 500 CFA (with a sauce that includes mayonnaise), boulette 500 CFA, bread 100 CFA. Putting the boulettes in the bread and then toasting it is a pretty good-quality dinner for relatively cheap, and is of course Jenny Wang’s idea.

My favorite spaghetti-omelette-sandwich shack, it’s also right next door to the office. Two eggs spaghetti in a half-bread is 375 CFA. If I’m really broke I get two and eat the second for lunch.

Truly, the king of sandwiches.

The guards at the office. Almost all are Anglophone, except for one that is from my village, but as most Volunteers are Francophone, they get used to us talking whatever.

We got bush meat for lunch next door to the office. This is pangolin, which is sort of like a small anteater or maybe a weird armadillo. I’m not crazy about bush meat (my feelings echo Allison’s face), but I think Jenny wants to be able to have a long list of accomplishments that includes having eaten as many things as possible.

The other plate is porcupig, which may be porcupine or something else entirely.

Ben is willing to make sacrifices for culinary science.

Jenny got a sparkly unicorn tattoo, God only knows where.

ICT committee, including our newest inductee Trevor.

This is pistache, also called aigussi [sp?] in Anglophone. I think of it like Cameroonian tofu, and it’s probably my favorite Cameroonian food. I don’t really understand how it’s made or where it comes from, but it involves grinding a seed which is also called pistache. It’s seasoned with fish, savory and a little spicy, and you can often get lumps like this one on the side of the road when you travel. (Each of these was 200 CFA, which I thought was a little expensive.) I think culinarily it’s a sauce, so you’re supposed to eat it with a complement, a starch such as plantains, rice, something made from manioc, or even bread or bananas. Different foods can go with different complements.

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