What is a traditional Senegalese breakfast

What do you eat in Senegal?

You hear a lot about the Senegalese: They should be very open-minded and always in a good mood. But what about your kitchen? The typical thing about this cuisine is the fish, which is due to the location on the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Africa. Due to colonization by Europeans, especially by the French, culture and cuisine have gradually changed. French is the official language of the country, which almost completely encloses the neighboring country of Gambia, but only about a third of the population understands and speaks the language. Wolof is spoken by about half of the Senegalese.

What are traditional Senegalese foods?

Traditional staple foods in Senegal are millet, rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fish. Interestingly, however, potatoes are only used as a vegetable; they are not found on the tables as the only main course. Due to a lack of meat, it is often imported, which can be quite expensive in some cases. For this reason, meat is rarely eaten. When meat is on the table, chicken is very popular.

Another national dish is “Thiéboudiène”, also called “Ceebu jën” (literally translated from Wolof: rice and fish). This dish is usually served on Fridays by Christians and in almost all restaurants. “Ceebu jën” has its origins in the 19th century in the city of St. Louis on the west coast of the country.

Breakfast in Senegal

Not everyone has breakfast these days. Often you don't have the time or you just aren't hungry yet. Breakfast is very important in Senegal, but it is not prepared at home but in so-called cookshops. You can find these all over the roadside. In cookshops you can usually get a sweetened millet porridge or millet dumplings in sour milk, as well as sweets such as donuts.

Lunchtime in Senegal

At lunchtime in Senegal, rice is mainly eaten with fish or sometimes meat and vegetable sauce. People like to go to a restaurant in the evening. Many small restaurants do not have a partition between the dining room and the kitchen, so you can watch the meals being prepared.

Holidays in Senegal

On public holidays there is the dish “Yassa au poulet” (chicken in lemon juice), which is quick and easy to prepare. The roast chicken is marinated in lemon juice for a day, but if you want it to go faster, you can leave it to marinate for just an hour or two. The taste is then not as intense, but depending on your preferences, this approach could also find friends. The marinade consists of lemon juice, salt, pepper, chopped peppers, onion cubes and oil. Then the chicken is fried until crispy and usually served with rice.

“Yassa” is generally a popular dish with many possible variations. Everyone can try the traditional preparation method for themselves - with this alternative recipe too. You can also make “Ceebu jën” (recipe) at home, even if it is often called “Thieboudienne” (recipe). We wish you all the best!

Image: Kinesira

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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