Ghanaian and west african cuisine in general, is excellent. Partly because most of the food is acquired fresh – and makes use of the plentiful spices and herbs that can only be found in its prosperous lands. Even the fish such as mackerel and barracuda is caught fresh and delivered to the chaotic fish markets that line every corner of the country every day. If you want to enjoy the local delicacies, you can do so in a chop bar, which is what locals call restaurants that only prepare local meals – many locals will say that it is the one and only way to experience the delights of Ghanaian cuisine.
Fortunately, there is a way you can actually bring the authentic Ghanaian experience – by taking them with you on your plane home. And that is exactly why we came up with a list of 5 local specialties from Ghana that you should absolutely consider taking home from your trip – or order them straight from the source, or ask your friends to bring them home for you. Trust us – it’s worth all the hassle.
1. Jollof Rice
Jollof Rice is synonymous with the whole of West Africa. Traditionally and originally from Senegal, Jollof rice is a pot dish of rice that is made using tomato sauce and served alongside some form of meat or chicken stew. The rice soaks up all the spicy flavors of the herbs and spices and it absorbs the juicy flavors of the ingredients turning the rice an almost orange color when cooking.
Gari is a granulated mixture that is made from cassava roots. Like Jollof rice, it is one of the most popular delicacies in West Africa. Garri is mostly made in a bowl of boiling water where it is stirred until dough is formed. The finished product of cooked Gari is commonly referred to as Eba. Eba is typically served alongside vegetables, meat or fish stew. You may always try to make gari with the use of a food processor, but the original article is still the best.
Plantains look like bananas, but they are bigger and thicker. It also needs to be cooked before it can be consumed. Unlike bananas, plantains have a higher percentage of dietary fiber and they also have fewer sugars. It is a quality meal for weight loss purposes or for people on a healthy diet. Aside from cooking it, plantain is also often used to make traditional alcoholic brews.
Okra or Okro is commonly referred to in other countries as lady fingers. It is a nutritious vegetable that is very low in calories. Okra is used in a range of West African dishes including vegetable and meat stews. Okra can also be used to make another famous delicacy in Ghana, Okra soup.
5. Ghanaian Chocolate
Ghanaian chocolate is divine because it is produced from locally grown cocoa. Since most of the chocolate is fair trade, taking a bar or three back home is a great way to support the local cocoa farmers that often rely on the trade and sale of their cocoa as a source of livelihood. Additionally, most of the chocolate you will find in Ghana is made out of real cocoa and in large quantities without any additives added.