Sunday, 1 February 2015

Meal 38. Burkina Faso Chicken Gizzards

Moussa is my host tonight, from Burkina Faso, "the land of good people". As happens more and more often during this project, I have to admit I've never consciously met anybody from this country before. When Moussa hears me speak in French, he exclaims "Ah! It's as if you I'm hearing a Mossi woman speaking! Your accent is exactly the same as the Mossi ethnicity in Burkina!" Somehow the mix of French learnt at school and while travelling in Africa, mixed with Dutch and American accents, led to a similar way of speaking...
I was warned that Moussa is a very good cook, but that he has a penchant for using "organ meat", a first for this project, I must say. So it is no surprise to see what (as a veterinarian, not as a consumer) I recognize as chicken stomachs, also known as gizzards in proper English. They are being marinated in oil, vinegar, onions, garlic and salt.
While I get a complete workshop in how to prepare Burkinese food, Moussa tells me more about his childhood. While he is the oldest son of a large family, he was raised by his great-grandmother, "the woman who has loved me
most in life".

"She always gave me everything, we were so attached, that when I slept, she slept. When I awoke, she got up as well!"
But all good things come to an his case, when his great-grandmother died, at the ripe old age of 106. He found it hard to cope without her.
By this time I have not only learnt how to marinate gizzards, but lamb as well. And how to fry plantain, aloko.
I have to say, the gizzards are pretty tasty, and I appreciate their chewiness. The plantains are also good, but not new to me, as the gizzards are and the Lamb with Peanut Sauce. I knew there were countries in Africa where peanutsauce was popular (from a favorite "graphic novel", Aya de Youpogon, which plays in Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso's relatively rich neighbour).

After a surprisingly delicious meal, it's time for tea. This involves a gunpowder tea, mint leaves, a tiny tea kettle and the pouring of tea from great heights, dozens of times! The end result is a very strong "men's tea". It's like a stiff drink, and keeps some people up all night. Moussa tells me, in Burkina Faso the men get excited and call out: "Ataya, ataya!" when the tea is brought out. I can imagine the scene, somehow.

For those who are adventurous and can find gizzards at their local butcher: here is the very simple recipe.
(This original post about the meal is from December 14, 2006)

No comments:

Post a Comment