Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Research Journal 6: Food Culture in Sierra Leone: Bonnie Welsh

Some food culture habits in Sierra Leone is rice is a part of every meal. Sierra Leonean will often say, without any exaggeration, "If I haven't eaten rice today, then I haven't eaten!" Other things that a Sierra Leonean would eat is a wide variety of fruits, seafood, potatoes, cassava, and other things like that. But these foods would just be considered snacks not "real foods". The real foods would be the rice which is prepared is many different ways like; topped with a variety of sauces made from some combination of potato leaves, cassava leaves, hot peppers, peanuts, beans, okra, fish, beef, chicken, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes. Mainly chicken bones are a delicacy, because their brittle nature makes the sweet marrow inside easily accessible. If you go to Sierra Leone and buy food on the side of the street/road you will most likely finds these foods;  fresh mangoes, oranges, pineapple, or papaya, fried plantains, potato or cassava chunks with pepper sauce, small bags of popcorn or peanuts, bread, roasted corn, or skewers of grilled meat or shrimp. On the other hand, if you go to a local bar they will also sell; Poyo the sweet, lightly fermented palm wine tapped from the high tops of palm trees. Poyo bars can be areas of lively informal debate and conversation among men. There are some cases where at some villages they will not eat certain foods these are usually due to a law handed down from someone's ancestor, perhaps the founder of the village. The reason for not eating the foods can be a restriction against certain kind of meat or a certain oil, or even against food prepared a certain way. Violation is usually seen as a risky proposition, and can incur the ill feelings of would-be guardians either living or dead.
There are some customs that they have at various occasions; almost all of the ceremonial occasions such as weddings, funerals, initiations, and memorial services demand the preparation of large platters of rice, distributed to guests until they are full. Depending on what occasion it is a portion may also be offered to the ancestors, to honor their memory. Another thing that they do is to pour liquor in the ancestors' honor in the corners of a house to honor their memory. Different food traditions vary on your religion and the region that you are in, Kola nuts are highly valued in and of themselves, and are often associated with greetings, diplomacy, provisions of respect, religious rites, and initiation ceremonies. High in caffeine concentration, they are also used as a stimulant, a clothing dye, and even in the preparation of medicines.
Potatoes with rice.  
This is what the street food looks like. 
Where I got most of my information is http://www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/Sierra-Leone.html
This is a picture of rice which is what is in most every meal in Sierra Leone.
This is the sauce that would be topped over rice.




  1. It was very interesting to know that they ate rice with every meal!

  2. It was very interesting to know that they ate rice with every meal!


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