Culinary Anthropologist

Tag Archive: tabaski

  1. My mate marmite

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    Smbaobabroad.jpgOur experiences crossing from Mauritania to Senegal had left us slightly wary of border officials, but that definitely changed when we crossed into Mali.  On the Senegalese side, the police and customs were cheery, chatty and helpful (if quite hard to actually find).  On the Malian side, they just invited us in for lunch.

    A few kilometres of dusty plains covered with enormous baobab trees, and we found ourselves sitting outside a customs hut with three friendly douaniers, sharing their thiou and their thiep – a delicious meaty stew, and a tasty rice dish studded with vegetables, garlicky chilli paste and savoury hibiscus-leaf sauce.  If all of Mali was like this, we thought, we’d probably get on OK.

    Smdouaniersthiep.jpgAnd as it turned out, a great deal of it was.  We spent a lot of time in Mali sharing food with people: cooking it with them in big bubbling marmites on charcoal fires; and then eating together, with everyone gathered round one big pot using their fingers.  This is partly because we’re greedy, of course; but also because people here are so sociable.  And because Tabaski was coming, and the rams were getting fat …