Cooking bloggers show the world the rich African cuisine

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NGAPAROU, Senegal (AP) – Two women were working side by side in an airy kitchen shortly before lunchtime. One of them, a chef, cleaned the snapper fillets with a sharp knife. The other, a filmmaker, pointed his camera in a large pot of simmered vegetables: "What would you say it would be, over low heat or medium?" Tuleka Prah asked, putting the camera aside. His pen in front of a lime green notebook, Prah, 37, was waiting for the next step in the recipe for the thiebou god, a traditional Senegalese dish made from spicy rice, tender vegetables and fish. She came to this West African country to document her four most popular dishes as part of My African Food Map, a blog and movie archive. "Little heat," said 38-year-old Touty Sarr, who runs the kitchen of a popular cafe. in Dakar. She turned to her daughter who was watching her cooking. "This one, if you put it high, it would all dry up … it's one of the secrets." Senegal has been the fifth destination since the beginning of its project for Prah since 2012. It hopes to show the care and skill shown by African dishes, such as the amagwinya fried dough from South Africa and the Kachumbari from Kenya. a salad with onion and tomato. "The basic idea is to introduce to food how people who like it would prepare it," Prah said. "It's like a database or a digital safe where people can open the drawer, see recipes, see ingredients." Born in England from a Ghanaian father and a South African mother, she lived as a child in six African countries, including Namibia and Kenya. and what is now South Sudan. Having found no reliable recipes online for Ghanaian dishes – and no photo making beloved food so appetizing – she launched My African Food Map. She celebrates the kitchens of a continent often tainted with stereotypes negative. "Africa is often associated with poverty, hunger, with food failures in the political and nutritional sense," said James C. McCann, director of the Boston University's Department of History. and specialist in cooking and the history of the environment in Africa. "This is a region of the world that has not been affected by the craze for food." Other historians, culinary chefs and gastronomes fight such stereotypes. Some, like author and professor Jessica Harris, have studied African cuisine and the diaspora, exploring the roots of food taken away from home by slavery. Others, like Fran Osseo-Asare and his Ghanaian project Betumi, are investigating foods from one country. "The Internet is a way to democratize the writing of African food products," said Osseo-Asare, who wrote a blog about African foods since the 1980s. "When the Internet arrived, publishers were no guards that could stop you from working. " Unique among leading bloggers, Prah takes an almost pan-African approach. "I always feel like I'm from all over the continent," she says. "I can find myself in different aspects of the countries I visit." Her videos often have tens of thousands of views and she dreams of realizing her project full time, just like Anthony Bourdain. "The best result is that people say," It's our food, it's our dish, "she said recalling her work in Kenya." I was extremely happy when the first comments I received on YouTube were: "Oh, it reminds me of my home." "To find authentic recipes and talented chefs, Prah asks everyone she meets in a country – hosts, taxi drivers, traders and strangers – about their favorite foods.He met Sarr this way through friends of friends. "I learned from my grandmother I followed her everywhere, "said Sarr, who wears her white chef uniform every time she cooks, even at home, as this makes her more professional." And our grannies, they think that taking on time with the food gives more flavor. So, I'm also taking time. "She said that she became chef after the money ran out to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor." There are many similarities between cooking and cooking. medicine, "she said, skinning onions." The feeling of being satiated after eating is the same feeling as healing after being sick. It's something that gives me a lot of pride. "She dropped the garlic in burning oil, then stepped back as Prah approached the movie cauldron. around one of the other, collaborating artists around the pot that is shaking on the stove.

Sarr said that she cooked by smell, by her and by taste, but Prah wrote in stages, listing a recipe for other people, without the advice of grandmothers and mothers by their side. After two hours mowing and pounding, scraping and whipping, Boiling and simmering, Sarr spreads red rice on a plate nearly two feet wide. She flattened and carefully arranged the vegetables and fish in a circle for a joint meal, with some members of the family eating with spoons and others with their hands. Prah took a picture, then another, before putting his camera aside to try the dish. "It's really good," she says, her mouth full, smiling to Sarr. "Really, really good." ___ Follow the news of Africa at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa