When traveling through Ghana, Westerners will encounter a lot of new and interesting foods that they may be uncertain how to eat.
There are a few things to remember when eating in Ghana, Africa:
- Never eat with your left hand - This is considered disrespectful, as your left hand is used for washing (i.e. when you use the toilet) and your right hand is used for eating and passing items to other people.
- Utensils are optional - It isn't only fried vegetables and chicken that you can eat with your hands. Soups, sauces, doughs, meats, seafood...it's all eaten with your hands (your right hand, that is).
- Know how to use a water bowl - While most Westerners are used to using napkins when eating, in Ghana they do things a bit differently. Many times before a meal, you will notice 2 bowls of water being set on the table. One bowl is used to wash your hands before eating, and the other is used to wash your hands after you have finished.
- Don't be afraid to try new things - In Ghana, you will encounter many new and interesting foods that you may have not seen before. Try everything in order to get a feel for the local culture. For example, by trying Fufu and Banku (picutured above), you can see how much effort is put into each meal (sometimes hours) as well as how the people depend on the land for food.
- There is no need to chew foods that are already soft - Like the Banku pictured above, there are many foods that are not meant to be chewed, but instead broken up and dipped into sauces and soups and swallowed whole.
Written and contributed by Jessica Festa