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Gambia

Africa's tiniest mainland country has a rich appetite.
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Although it is the smallest country on mainland Africa, Gambia has a rich food culture that is supported by the Gambia River, as well as the widespread agriculture. Farming and fishing provide Gambians with the staples of their cuisine, especially the starches that accompany every meal. As in all of West Africa, fufu (a paste made from mashed cassava) is served with stews and soups.

Another key component of Gambian cuisine is spicy flavor, which is incorporated into nearly every dish—from domoda (spicy stew made with peanut paste) to chicken yassa (spicy chicken with lemon or lime juice). One of the national specialties is called benechin, which means "one pot." Like the name implies, the dish consists of just about anything (vegetables, meat, fish, spices) thrown into one pot and made into a stew. Another local favorite is mbahal, similar to risotto and made with fish, beans and groundnuts.—Alexandra Menglide


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