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Spinach Frittata

Every Tuesday, I pick up over a kilo of spinach from my CSA. Today is Sunday, and I have the week before last’s, this past week’s, and OMG MORE SPINACH IS COMING ON TUESDAY. To give you some perspective on the photo below, each tile on the counter is 30cm x 30cm. That’s a lot of spinach.

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Parsley garlic butter

Earlier this week, Bertrand and I went to the fish market here in Cotonou. It was an adventure, but we ended up with three beautiful mahi mahis that I later cooked to perfection. But this post isn’t about mahi mahi. It’s about butter. Beautiful, unsalted, absolutely fattening butter.

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Shopping for deep sea fish in Cotonou

Last week, I decided that I absolutely needed a hunk of fresh tuna. Never mind that I had no idea how to go about buying tuna. I had to have it.┬áIn Cotonou, salt water fish are bought fresh off the boat at the Port of Cotonou. Chaos reigns as fishermen and fish mongers negotiate prices and quantities. There’s never enough fish for all of the fish mongers to get their...

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Oh, the rainy season in Cotonou

We’re getting to the “rains twice a day” part of the season. Soon it will be “rains all day every day”. And then, “doesn’t stop raining for a week straight”. And then finally, the light at the end of the tunnel. A brief one month stretch with scant rains and lots of sunshine. August, you can’t come soon enough!topod

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Pink partners with community radios to get the word out about breast cancer

This past weekend, PINK BENIN went up north to Parakou. We’ve been struggling to get out of Cotonou, and more importantly, get the message out to more women in order to a) start tracking breast cancer cases throughout the country and b) create a force strong enough to pressure the Beninese government into making cancer treatments more accessible to the rural pour. We’re running the pilot with Peace Corps because...

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I like snails. Eating them, that is.

Allada is famous for its escargot (snails). Every well to do traveler stops there on their way up North. Only an hour outside of Cotonou, it’s an ideal place to buy food for the rest of the trip. Or, if you’re Jean Marc, Helene, Bertrand, and myself, an ideal place to waste an hour drinking beer while eating delicoius snails, snail eggs, and fried cheese.

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Cutting the cheese in Benin

Ah, cheese. The one thing every expat in West Africa misses. Luckily, Benin has a local cheese that’s excellent, both as a cheese, fried, and as a tofu subsitute. Known commonly as wagasi, from Dendi, it goes by many names: amo in Fon, wara in Nagot, and gasaru in Bariba. The French simply call it fromage (cheese).

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Zucchini Pancakes

Yesterday’s CSA came with a couple kilos of zucchinis. I hadn’t even finished last week’s batch, and started panicking about how I was going to use up all these zucchinis. Yes, it’s true, my CSA has become a source of stress in my life as I struggle to use up all of the vegetables each week. For example, I currently have five (!) eggplants sitting in my fridge. Also, over...

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On how to rock eating food you’re afraid of

We’ve had a lot of visitors lately, new to Benin and/or to Africa, who are afraid of food poisoning. I’m going to be really honest here: if you leave Cotonou, have any middle class Beninese friends, eat street food, or do anything but eat at ritzy expat restaurants and prepare your own (vegetarian) food, you’re gonna get food poisoning eventually. Fish goes bad. Chicken sits out. Beef sits in the...