One of the easiest ways, in my opinion, to better understand and appreciate a foreign culture is through food. Exploring cuisines from different cultures is one of the most budget friendly ways of experiencing new cultures without having to travel.
I was introduced to Chef Binta and her amazing creation, Fulani Kitchen, by a mutual friend a few months ago. After following her page (@fulani_kitchen), my curiosity got the best of me and I had to sign up for “Dine on a mat”. I really enjoyed the experience and i must say it is one of the “ballsiest” things I’ve done thus far, pun intended. I now have a little knowledge of the Fulani (a nomadic tribe which is also one of the largest in Sahel and west Africa) through this experience.
No shoes allowed! Once i left my shoes at the door, I took my space on the mat and introduced myself to the other guests. The settings transported me into another location which made the experience even more pleasant. Then came the watermelon and ginger beer, served in traditional cups, refreshing and much needed after a long day.
The starter was a combination of fish balls and pepper soup. What made it even more amazing was Chef Binta explaining how it’s usually eaten which gave it context.
Raise your hand if you fancy some goat testies? *cricket sounds*
This was probably the highlight of my evening, I loved it! Those were lies I told myself just so I could go for another bite (by no fault of the chef of course). I kept getting flashing images of where it really came from but i held it down so I could tell you about it and of course an experience for the books. Lucky enough, they were served with intestines and corn meal as a side which helped.
The dessert is the chef’s own twist of a gari base (which was my favorite part of this), pistachio ice cream and caramelized palm nuts, served in a calabash.
I’m a self proclaimed tea lover, this was probably my favorite item on the menu. The final part of the evening consisted of bush tea as a cleanser, with options of sugar and honey as sweeteners.
After the tea, I was lingering around, chatting with the amazing people I had just met from different parts of the world, not wanting the evening to end. I’ve been introduced to a new way of learning through food I am happy to explore more of.
You can find Chef Binta of Fulani Kitchen
Instagram @fulani_kitchen @chef_binta
Photography: Anthony Tutu @anthonytutu_fotographie