Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Where is Mali?

On Sunday, my oldest daughter told me she wanted to try sushi. This girl does not eat seafood, so I was like, "What? Okay let's get some before you change your mind." You know, expanding horizons and all that. Of course we're in a pandemic so it's not like we can go get sushi at a proper sushi boat place or anything, so I had to get some from Raley's.

Tirelli, Mopti, Mali. Photo by C. Hugues.

Now, I've never had any problem with the sushi at our local Raley's. It's always fresh. But after eating this particular box of sushi, well, let me just say I was not present at my day job today, and my oldest daughter isn't doing so great either. Instead, I spent my day sitting on the sofa binge watching Worst Cooks in America. And I also redesigned my blog. Sort of. I mean, I uploaded a free template and now the blog looks different. 

Anyway, for this entry we are in Mali, which is actually the eighth largest country in Africa, yet most Americans couldn't find it on a map or probably say anything about how big it is. It's also the world's third largest producer of gold, which means it must be one of the wealthier African nations, right? Nope. Mali is, in fact, one of the world's poorest nations with an average annual income of about $1,500. The fact that Mali is a unitary semi-presidential republic under a military dictatorship might have something to do with that, though I can't say I'm especially educated in the particulars of the Malian economy. 

Because Mali isn't a wealthy nation, they eat a lot of cereals and not very much meat. Rice and millet are usually on the menu, and the Malians make sauces out of peanuts, tomatoes, spinach, or some combination thereof. The also eat fufu in Mali, which, no, and jollof rice, which I didn't make this week mostly because I made a version of it when I did the Gambia like eight years ago and I couldn't possibly make the same basic dish twice in any one decade. 

Instead I chose tukasu. Because I was warned that tukasu was kind of a complicated dish, I selected just one other recipe to make, a dessert called "fonio cakes." How'd it go? I'll let you know in a couple of days.


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