by Tangwing Pius

Cameroon Food Collection: Roasted Plantains

Cameroon Food Collection: Roasted Plantains


There has been much argument about banana and plantains whether they are fruits or not. However, despite what they are, plantains is considered among the Cameroonian society as food. It is eaten in many forms. Some food food made from plantains warrants it to be ripe while others warrant it to be green. Still some food from plantains require some spices as food while it can also be eaten without soup or spices.

Different tribes in Cameroon prepare plantains in various forms. Some peel the plantains, slice it and dry, after which they grind and prepare soup for the plantains again (Mpou by the Bakossi people of the south west region), others peel and boil the green plantains and eat it either like that, or with egusi pudding, with Kokki beans or with vegetable prepared in various forms (the most common being Ndole by the people of the North West Region), etc.

Focus here is on roasted plantains. Plantains is roasted using different means. In the village or in a household setting, plantains is roasted using the local fire side. Here, plantains is peeled and either inserted into the hot ash or burning charcoal until it is ready. It is eaten with palm oil that is warm and a bit of table salt added onto it.

In a commercial setting which is becoming more pronounced in the Cameroonian society, various types of metal containers are used to place charcoal in it.

It is then taken to road sides with another net-like durable metal that can withstand the heat from the charcoal for a long time. Fire is lit, and the plantains peeled and place upon the net-like metal. While gently applying air using a flat material or plate, the charcoal produces heat which gently heats the plantains until it is roasted and ready for consumption.

It is consumed with either roasted plums, fried groundnuts or with pear (Avogadro). Before it used to be business for the females (both old and young) but the men are becoming more involved in it than the females and are making a living out of it. When travelling through the major highways in the country, men and women are located at strategic places along the road especially at check points with roasted plantains, plums, groundnuts and other things to sell to travellers. It tastes good.

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