Friday, August 4, 2006

gambian style

Gambia is a great place. Whenever I go somewhere I always pay special attention to the food culture. It’s inevitably fascinating and the Gambians did not disappoint me. One of my favorite things about meal times is that we all eat together, from the same plate that is. The food is spread out on large oval or circular plates. Then about 3-4 people eat off the same plate. Everybody digs in with their hands or sometimes with spoons. Drinks are served in a few cups which are then shared by the group. The hardy eaters usually finish their plate first, then they disperse and seek other plates where the light eaters haven’t finished all the food and they switch spots…. .So it ends up being kind of like a Chinese fire drill but at the dinner table.

The thing that’s been hardest to adjust is that during the meals people don’t typically converse. In fact, it’s considered rude to talk during the meal. I’m so used to chiming in during meals (especially when there’s a long and awkward silence) that I’m constantly having to consciously hold back.

The food is very tasty and the staples are fish and rice. I’m attaching one so pictures of meal time so you can get a visual of what I’m describing. The fish head pictured is actually a barracuda and they’re quite tasty.


4 comments:

  1. in second picture,
    I see that there is a bottle of water on desks,
    the color is yellow.
    what's that ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. that's a local drink made with ginger, sugar, cloves, and some other stuff that I don't recognize :-)
    thanks king.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cameron Lane9:58 PM

    thanks for the meal time description.. it is so great being a part of different cultures and learning from them...many times when I eat in different countries i wonder what the meal in heaven will be like... which style?...everyone jump in or really formal?...will we converse or just sit quietly?

    ReplyDelete
  4. hmmm.....intriguing throught . . . I love food here so I can't even imagine how incredible our heavenly food will be!

    ReplyDelete

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