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A strong French influence in bigger cities, tempered by traditional tastes in the outskirts.
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Gabonese cuisine has a strong French influence, notable in the popularity of baguettes, quiches, profiteroles and other French fare available in the bigger cities. In rural areas of the country, traditional staples are more prevalent, such as rice, yams and cassava. Fufu, made from pounded cassava, is a standard element of the Gabon diet. The Gabonese enjoy meat when available, which they prepare in a variety of ways. Bush meats like wild boar, antelope and monkey are often served with spicy sauces. These sauces are usually based on berbere, the hot red pepper paste used in many African recipes. Typical chicken dishes include nyembwe (chicken with pine nuts) and mustard chicken made with onions, garlic and lemon juice in a mustard sauce. In addition to these specialties, Gabon offers numerous other tasty foods including smoked fish, stuffed crab and meat stews.

One of the most customary desserts is baked bananas—bananas coated with breadcrumbs, oven-baked and topped with sour cream and brown sugar.—Alexandra Menglide


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