Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shopping for African Produce in America...

I spent the first few months after Serwaa & Konto came home wishing I had some African produce to cook for them. They were disappointed to find that South Carolina stores didn't sell Yam, Cocoyam, or Garden Eggs. Only, they did. I just didn't know what I was looking for.

So, for anyone who is a clueless as me: I am making a very short list of things to buy, and where. (Disclaimer: It may not work if you are in another part of the country with different stores.)

A big brown root.
Also called: BayerE
This is used for: Ampesie
It is sold at Publix under the name of  'Name'. PLU# 3276
It is also sold in many Asian stores (which are much easier to find than African stores around here)!

A hairy-looking brown root.
Also called: Mankani
Used for: Ampesie
There are small cocoyams and bigger cocoyams. My kids prefer the bigger ones.
The bigger version is sold at Pulix as 'Malanga'. PLU# 4644
The smaller version is also at Publix as 'Taro Root'.

A waxy-looking brown root.
Also called Yuca, Manioc, Bankye
Used for: Ampesie, Fufuo
Sold at most grocery stores. Publix PLU# is: 4819

Garden Eggs:
Small, round yellowish-white eggplants.
Used for: soups and stews
I have only been able to find these in Asian stores so far.

Ripe Plantain:
Rotten banana-looking fruit.
Also called 'red plaintain'.
Used for: fried plantains
Sold at most grocery stores. They should be yellowish-black.

Green Plantain:
Looks like an overgrown green banana.
Used for: Ampesie
Sold at grocery stores, but harder to find. You pretty much have to find them the day the store puts them out, because they ripen pretty quick.

A small orange pepper
When my kids say they need 'pepper', this is what they are referring to. All other peppers we have found are too mild. These are very hot.
Sold at most grocery stores.

Cocoyam Leaves:
Also called Nkontomire
Used for soups
I haven't found these sold anywhere. But, they are super easy to grow. (If I haven't killed it, it can't be killed!) We bought cocoyams, let them sit in the closet for too long (until they started sprouting). We planted them with the sprout sticking out of the ground. They are almost the exact same as those elephant ear plants.

Hopefully this will help somebody be a little less ignorant when they go out grocery shopping for their Ghanaian kiddos! Good luck!!

....Stay tuned. I hope to start posting some of my kids' favorite recipes soon!