Benin is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average yearly per-capital income of below $400. Starches, such as yams, cassava, corn, beans and rice are the staples, and many Beninoise get to eat meat (often in the form of chicken or fish) very occasionally. Still, Beninoise food is supposed to be some of the best of the region.
Finding Beninoise recipes, specially recipes I wanted to eat, was not easy. A former Peace Corp volunteer offers a few at her website. Most of these are for sauces or pates, however, and they didn't seem very appetizing. I did find several Beninoise recipes in one of my African cookbooks, but all but one were for seafood (a seafood stew, crab, etc.) - of which I'm not fond. The one non-seafood recipe called for a smoked chicken and I couldn't procure one. Instead, I resorted to the recipes at the Benin Gate website. Clearly, these recipes are not everyday fare for most Beninoise, they require relatively expensive ingredients (i.e. meat) and some have a definite french flair to them, but they seemed "authentic" enough.
I created my menu based on my own food preferences rather than on any understanding of what a typical Beninoise meal may be like. I started with fish, followed with lamb and finished with flan. In all, it was a very satisfying meal.
My menu consisted of:
- Poisson au gril
Grilled fish served with plantains friend on peanut oil
- Mouton aux arachides
Lamb Stewed in Peanut Sauce served with white rice
- Flan au citron
Beninoise Food Links