Results tagged “ginger”

Jus de gingembre

mali, senegal
One of the many good things about travelling in Senegal was the widespread availability of fresh fruit, root and flower juices, typically sold in small plastic bags by smiley, buxom ladies on street corners.  At first perplexed as to how one drinks from a plastic bag, we soon learnt you nip off a corner with your teeth and then suck out the delicious juice as you continue round the market.  Nothing could be better on a hot, dusty day.

Smjuslocaux0002.JPGGinger was our favourite; its intense zinginess can’t fail to jolt you awake and fill you with an overwhelming sense of vitality.  Also excellent were bouye (made from the fruit of the giant baobab tree), ditakh (some kind of cucumbery tasting fruit we never identified), and bissap (infused with dried, crimson hibiscus flowers, often with mint).


To the land where things ferment

We rolled over the Diama dam and got all of about three feet into Senegal before having to make our first payment: the bridge toll.  Although to give him credit, we did get a proper ticket and receipt - unlike the next person in line, the frontier policeman, who simply refused to stamp our passports until we gave him 10 euro each.  Receipt?  Of course not - everyone just pays up.  Here, I'll show you: look at my big drawer full of cash.

Smdindefeloboys0001.JPGBut as it turned out, he was the only person we came across in Senegal who wanted to do things that way.  Contrary to popular traveller misconception, every other traffic policeman, customs official and gendarme was friendly and correct (if sometimes a little busy on their mobile phone to do much more than wave our paperwork in the air for a bit).  And as in Morocco and Mauritania, pretty much everyone else we met was chatty and helpful too.

Smplastickettle0001.JPGOther things really did seem to change, though, as soon as we'd crossed the Senegal river.  The landscape was much greener, lusher; there were trees everywhere; and there were monkeys running across the road.  The kettles were made of stripy plastic now.  Smwomencarrying0001.jpgThe people were all properly black and looked seriously West African - women in incredibly bright patterned fabrics carrying everything on their heads, boys in football kit practising madly for their lucrative futures in the Premiership.  And the food was definitely different.  Here, it was all about the fruit juices.  The savoury condiments, the grains, the baguettes and the viennoiserie.  And above all, the joys of fermentation ...



Culinary Anthropologist