Seven Grains of Paradise tells the fascinating and much neglected story about many kinds of food in Africa, a continent with a rich farming tradition, intricate cuisines, and a multitude of food cultures.
Centuries of disparaging judgements and a half-century of media reports churning out images of famine, disease, and conflict have eclipsed the facts that Africans have marvellous local foods and culinary delicacies, and that small family farms still feed most of the continent.
Here is the story of Baxter's personal quest to learn about some fascinating and new (to her) foods in a handful of countries in sub-Sahara Africa as she visits African farms, markets, restaurants, and kitchens. The people who grow, sell, buy, prepare, and serve the foods help her explore the riddles of a continent better known for hunger than for its plentiful food resources. The author draws on stories and research conducted over the more than thirty years she has lived and worked in Africa.
From the fabled city of Timbuktu on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert to the rainforests of Central Africa, readers are invited along on a delightful journey of learning and eating--and some drinking too, of invigorating indigenous beverages, brews, and palm wine straight from the trees. The culinary journey takes the reader down garden paths, into forests that double as farms, through the chaos of markets, and into modest little roadside eateries.