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Guinea-Bissau

Seafood is at the heart of this nation's diet.
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The cuisine of Guinea-Bissau, once part of the Portuguese Empire, reflects both Portuguese and West African food cultures. Similar to Portugal, seafood is at the heart of the Bissau-Guinean diet. The country's location on the Atlantic provides the people with access to fresh shrimp, oysters and meaty fish. Whether prepared on a grill or sautéed in a white onion and lime-based sauce, fish dishes are common fare.

As you would expect from a West African nation, cassava, yams and maize are integral parts of Bissau-Guinean cuisine. One of the most traditional dishes is jollof rice (rice cooked with peanut oil, tomatoes, onions, chile pepper, spices) served with chicken or fish. Favorite vegetables include okra, carrots and squash. The more adventurous eater can opt to eat in the rural parts of the country, where specialties include monkey.

Palm wine, typical of Western Africa, is brewed throughout the country and offers a local (and stronger) alternative to imported beer from Portugal. Caña de cajeu (cashew rum) is another potent alcoholic beverage enjoyed by the people of Guinea-Bissau.—Alexandra Menglide


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