Author of this post:
CBS Project Manager Melanie
Food is an important part of culture, and can serve as a vehicle for intercultural education and exchange. Also in programmes like our volunteer service programme, we experience it since years with our volunteers: Food indeed is very important!
The traditional Ghanaian Cuisine is quite different from continental dishes, but it’s save to say that so far, with maybe – if at all – only very few exceptions, all our volunteers were very curious to taste as many dishes as possible. They did not only like many of them, but most of the volunteers found dishes to LOVE. In Navrongo, the most common dish is called Tuo Zaafi (TZ), but there is a huge variety of meals, and even though I have been eating Ghanaian dishes for over 10 years, I keep on discovering eats I didn’t yet taste so far.
I’m a fan of Ghanaian meals, but as a vegetarian, I have to admit: around CBS, I don’t find it easy to find food for lunch! At times, I carry food cooked in the house to school, but often, I rather look for snacks. Most food sold on the market here is seasonal, which means that it’s good not to become too used to one snack – as you will possibly need to replace it at some point whether you like it or not! What I for example currently miss is avocado, which I would season with hot spices and herbs and use as a spread on crackers… but in turn, now plantain chips are suddenly being sold again – something I had missed in times when craving something crisp and salty.
But of course, there are also snacks which are available during most months of the year. One of them that I eat quite some times a month is: Tobani! It’s translated as “Bean Cake” – I’m not so sure if I had also called it ‘cake’. In any case, it is not a sweet meal. The bean dough is steamed in a leaf, and the hot Tobani is then dipped into (shea)-oil and powdered pepper. Just with like the Kose, I know a lady who (in my opinion) makes the best Tobani and where I always go for it!
Another snack I like a lot, but which unfortunately seems not very popular in Navrongo – or at least I only see it being sold rarely: “Kofi Broke Man!”. It’s roasted plantain served with roasted groundnuts – and most often sold wrapped in a old newspaper (in fact often from the Netherlands). This packaging for sure is questionable, but luckily I have quite a good immune system and a resilient tummy 🙂 As it’s not easily available, I don’t often get the chance to eat it, but it’s a welcome snack on days I have to run errands in Bolgatanga!
About the author:
Melanie is a social anthropologist and holds a MA in Development Studies with a focus on Local Development Strategies from the distinguished Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She is a qualified trainer of youth leaders in Africa-Europe Youth Cooperation and has led youth projects in Switzerland, Ghana and Kenya.
Melanie is a Co-Founder of CBS Business School and the Co-President of Sono