Saturday, July 28, 2012
More about Finding Food
I have shown you the wide variety of things you can buy at the marché, but I did not show you how they make baked pork. There are several men who bake a pig every market day. First you have to buy a pig and take it to the veterinarian to have it inspected. Here you see one of the men who makes baked pork with the pig he is about to cook. Notice the round purple stamp on the pig, showing that it has been inspected.
But what is the marché looks like this?
If you want meat any day of the week, you can go to this corner where a couple of different groups of guys grill chickens and guinea fowl. They grill them with the heads on so you can be sure which kind of bird you are getting. They get them about half cooked and set them to the side of the grill to keep warm. When you order one, they put it over the hot part of the fire and finish cooking it. They give it to you with onions and tomatoes, if they have them, and other seasonings and it is quite tasty. The only problem is that, unless you tell them not to, they will chop it up into small pieces, complete with the bone, and you get bone chips mixed in with everything else. It is also possible to get a half -cooked one to take home and finish cooking yourself.
Sort of a grocery store
There are no super markets as you know them in the USA, but there are small places, in between a super market and a 7-11 type of place, in the big cities like Ouaga and Bobo. As with all stores in this country, you can never be sure that the product you are looking for will be there. Maybe they had it the last time you visited, but they are all sold out now and you may never find that product again.
In smaller towns there are places that sell canned goods, like you see here. There are very few choices of brands. Usually there is one type of couscous, one or two brands of pasta, one brand of tomato paste, and so on. They probably have some beauty products and school supplies.
In small towns there are ways to get food that is already cooked for you. Many of the volunteers here like what they refer to as benga. It is a combination of beans and rice that is usually flavored a bit. When you buy it the person selling it to you may ask if you want oil added, which most Burkinabè do like, and what they call pemont, ground up hot pepper. Enough for a hardy meal costs about a quarter.
There are also small restaurants, like this one. They usually have cold drinks, including sodas and beer. The menu might be posted, but you usually have to ask what they have today. In the picture you can see the pleasant seating area under a hangar. On the far right is the back of the building where the cooking takes place.