Ivorian cuisine is the traditional cuisine of Côte d'Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, and is based on tubers, grains, chicken, seafood, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables and spices, and is very similar to that of neighboring countries in West Africa.
Common foods and dishes
Common staple foods include grains and tubers. Côte d'Ivoire is one of the largest cocoa producers in the world, and also produces palm oil and coffee.
Cassava and plantains are significant parts of the Ivorian cuisine. A type of corn paste called “Aitiu” is used to prepare corn balls, and peanuts are widely used in many dishes. Attiéké is a popular side dish in Côte d'Ivoire made with grated cassava and is very similar in taste and consistency to couscous.
Grilled fish and grilled chicken are the most popular non-vegetarian foods. Lean, low-fat Guinea fowl, which is popular in the region is commonly referred as poulet bicyclette. Seafood includes tuna, sardines, shrimp and bonito, which are similar to tuna.
Photo: Grilled fish
Kedjenou is a type of spicy stew consisting of chicken and vegetables that are slow-cooked in a sealed pot with little or no added liquid, which concentrates the flavors of the chicken and vegetables and tenderizes the chicken. It's usually cooked in a pottery jar called a canary, over a slight fire, or cooked in an oven.
Fruits and vegetables
Widely-consumed fruits include cuties, mango, passion fruit, sour sops and coconuts. Eggplant is a commonly used vegetable in many dishes.
Foutou, (foo – too, not to be confused with Fufu) is a very popular dish in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. It comes in the form of a dense ball made from cassava, plantain or yam and is eaten with a sauce on the side. This is a dish that originates from Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa.
The vegetable is boiled and then pounded in a mortar using a long pestle (usually made of Acacia wood). The repetitive action (often rhythmic and even sung) is accurate; the ball is returned and moistened with warm water while the pestle (pilon) is raised.
Preparing several Foutou balls is required for a family. The preparation of this dish is the opportunity for a friendly meeting, traditionally in the morning during which people talk (or sing), pound, and cook on a wood-burning fireplace.According to a pre-21st century survey, the Banana Foutou is particularly popular in Abidjan and in the East of Côte d'Ivoire, Yam Foutou in the central and northern parts of the country, and Cassava Foutou in the West.
Bangui is a local palm wine. It is created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms and coconut palms.
Maquis and restaurants
Ivorians have a particular kind of small, open-air restaurant called a maquis, which is unique to Côte d'Ivoire. Maquis normally feature braised chicken and fish served with onions and tomatoes, attiéké, and/or kedjenou.
Maquis normally feature beef kebab, braised chicken, and fish served with chopped onions, diced tomatoes, fresh pepper cuts, attiéké, rice, and/or kedjenou. In Côte d'Ivoire, the Maquis is the ultimate spot to meet, eat and drink for cheap, dance, and have a good time with friends.The Maquis in Abidjan are the go-to places to enjoy the popular music genres from Côte d'Ivoire including zoblazo, zouglou and Coupé-Décalé.
Photo: Allocodrome de Cocody