My Global Food Challenge

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angola-flagRed palm oil is not very prevalent in U.S. cooking, but it is probably second to soybean oil worldwide. It is not harvested from the coconut palm, but from the palm (Elaeis guineensis), endemic to the tropical areas of Africa.

Red Palm oil is very good for you because of its natural nutrients, carotenes (vitamin A precursors) and the super antioxidant tocotrienols (vitamin E isomers). The high concentration of these antioxidants also produce its red coloration. It has no trans fatty acids and has a stable shelf life.   The only contraindications are when using medications that slow blood-clotting such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Coumadin.   I have only used red palm oil twice during this adventure, but I will certainly consider its addition in my meals in the future.

Additions/Omissions: None

Taste Test: With the squash and the potatoes, the apple flavor (“for an apple soup”) does become overpowered. If you are really hankering for an “apple soup”. adjust the amounts of these three ingredients to taste.

Zip Facts about Angola:

  • While there is no single national identity, Angola has ties to Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries
  • Most Angolans drink affordable local beverages, such as palm wine and maize beer, although traditional celebrations, much fewer than in the past, call for soft drinks and bottled beer
  • Discovered a few years ago, the giant sable antelope, thought to be extinct, makes its home only in Angola
  • Its long civil war, from 1975 to 2002, affected all aspects of everyday life in Angola, from increasing the number of widows and incidences of polygamy to widening the age and gender gaps
  • Luanda, Angola’s capital city, is one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in with a meal or two that could cost $300US

Angola rtygP1015227Paulo Kussy

“What’s Angolan about my work is that I’m Angolan. I’m contributing to the development of my country. 
There should not be a preconceived idea of what is Angolan or African or black or white art. Art is all about the individual.”

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benin-flagI found recipes for chicken, with peanuts and red palm oil.  This is the first time I have come across red palm oil in cooking, despite the fact that I have done scientific research on isolated and purified vitamin constituents, particularly vitamin E tocotrienols, like those found in red palm oil.  I wasn’t sure of the taste, but the health benefits are well documented.

I wanted to translate those ingredients and flavors into a pretty tasty meatball.  I generally come up with a meatball recipe whenever I am craving a pasta dinner, especially when I am searching for recipes from a country that does not normally cook or eat pasta.  The trick is to balance the taste and texture when adding different ingredients.   Sometimes with ground chicken it is a little more difficult than ground beef, pork, or lamb to maintain the proper consistency as meatballs.

Additions/Omissions:  My recipe

Taste Test:  Good flavor and texture

Zip Facts about Benin:

  • From 1960 to 1975, the Republic of Benin was known as Dahomey. The name Benin comes from the Bight of Benin, a bay in the Gulf of Guinea
  • The magical religion Voodoo, still practiced in parts of Benin, derives its name from the word “vodun” which, in the Fon language of the Beninese, means “god” or “spirit”
  • ‘A rose by any other name…’ the capital city of Benin is known as the “City with Three Names”: Porto-Novo, Adjatche, and Hogbonou
  • When greeting, men shake with their right hands, and deference is given to the eldest person
  • For the Beninese, the main economic activity was farming and because many hands were needed on the family farms, the incidences of polygamy increased

Benin RafiyRafiy Okefolahan, “Children At Play”

Link to Recipe:

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