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Eating in Timbuktu
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While most people associate Mali with Timbuktu and the River Niger, the country's cuisine is also notable. The Malian diet is based primarily on rice, which the people cook in a variety of ways, including fried or au gras (cooked in animal fat). When a meal does not feature rice, you can expect to find couscous or macaroni instead.

Although grains are the foundation of every meal, sauce is the key to flavor. Sauce d'arachide, made from peanuts, and gumbo, made from okra, are the two most popular relishes. Traditional dishes usually consist of rice mixed with meat and served with sauce. The most common meats are chicken, mutton, goat and beef. Despite the fact that Mali is a dry, landlocked country, it still produces fruits and vegetables. Oranges and typical garden vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, are widespread. These vegetables are frequently used as the base for sauces.

Mali offers both millet beer and whisky, but many people do not consume alcohol in accordance to Muslim customs. Instead, they opt for djablani, a local specialty drink flavored with ginger or hibiscus. —Alexandra Menglide


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