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"I speak of Africa and golden joys."
Shakespeare, The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
For the rest of the world Africa is and has long been the least known of the inhabited continents. Speaking of "Africa" as a single entity might be a mistake; it is the second-largest continent, comprises over fifty countries, and is home to hundreds of unique languages and cultures. Perhaps it is no wonder the rest of the world is bewildered.
Still, most people are familiar with Northern Africa (Egypt, plus Maghreb countries like Morocco and Libya). Eastern Africa's Kenya and Tanzania are at least famous for their national parks. It's been a long time since there was a shortage of news from Southern Africa (especially from South Africa). Even Western Africa, with the first colonized country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence* (Ghana, 1957, Kwame Nkrumah as its first president) and the continent's most populous country (Nigeria), resonates with some recognition in the rest of the world. But Central Africa is still a great unknown for most people.
It is no surprise that the pervasive ignorance about Africa in general extends to the subject of cookery, especially Central African cookery. Hence The Congo Cookbook's at least nominal salute to Central African food and culture.
Despite the fact that the Congo river stretches 2,900 miles (4,700 kilometers) and its tributaries reach into seven countries, not all the recipes are from the Congo river region; there's great cooking all over Africa.
The recipes on this website are not new, unless they are new to you. They were collected by an epicurean Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who taught English in Gabon, traveled across Central Africa, obtained a degree in African Studies, and who loves to eat, cook, and surf the 'net. The Congo Cookbook is a contribution to the "third goal" of the Peace Corps, which is "to help promote a better understanding of people of other nations on the part of Americans." Towards this goal The Congo Cookbook seeks to provide information about African food and recipes, as well as African culture, geography, and history.
Navigating The Congo Cookbook website: We hope it is easy to find your way around our website. If you need a guide on your gastronomic safari, please note:
The Sitemap contains links to every recipe webpage (arranged by category: Chicken, Fish, Meat, et cetera) as well as links to all of the other Congo Cookbook webpages (such as the country and regional index, the ingredient index, and the quiz.
Most other pages (including this one) contain "navigation areas" at the top and bottom of the page and on the left side.
Overlib popups. Throughout The Congo Cookbook, placing your mouse pointer over an internal link will cause an overlib popup to be displayed. These give you more information about what the link leads to; for example, in the case of a link to a recipe page, the name of the recipe and the ingredients required. The overlib popups in the text area of The Congo Cookbook disappear when you move your mouse pointer off the link. Some of the overlib popups in the navigation areas contain links (which you can click on); these will popups will close when you either run your mouse over the "close" button in the upper left corner of the popup, or when you move your mouse pointer into, and then out of, the popup. For more information about the overlib java script, see overLIB.
The illustrations are also links. For example, the small "African Statues" images at the top and bottom of the page: the ones on the left lead to the previous page, the ones on the right lead to the next page. The other illustrations in the text area are links too -- they usually lead to the next page. ("next" and "previous" being defined as the order the pages are listed on the Sitemap. )
Please enjoy The Congo Cookbook.
The Congo Cookbook Webmaster
P.S. Please contact us if you have any suggestions or comments.
* Note: A discussion of the history of African colonization, protectorates, and independence is a bit beyond a recipe collection, but it is worth noting that Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan African nation colonized by Europeans to become independent. Liberia was "colonized" by the American Colonization Society, an organization founded in 1817 to transport free-born blacks and emancipated slaves from America to Africa. The society ran Liberia until it became an independent republic in 1847. Ethiopia (not part of Sub-Saharan Africa) was never a colony nor protectorate.
© Copyright 1999- 2009, Ed Gibbon, The Congo Cookbook ; All Original Content in The Congo Cookbook, whether texts or images, and the selection and arrangement thereof, are protected by copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These materials may not be copied, reproduced, redisplayed, or distributed in any way for any purpose without permission from the author. Exception is made and permission hereby given for individual computer-printed copies made for non-commercial non-profit personal (e.g., home) use or non-commercial, non-profit educational (e.g., classroom) use.
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Congo Cookbook recipes using Fish