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A Culinary Voyage

African Culture and Cuisine

Well is is almost Thanksgiving! Time for family and fellowship. I am also excited that my family has been extended to Guinea-Bissau thanks to my African Ancestry results. This part of my ancestry stems from my mother's family, the Trahan's. Those results were the fuel that this project needed. Gifts of the Ancestors: A Culinary Voyage virtual look back through the traditional Southern dishes we prepare to the African cultures that brought them to North America.

While I am absorbing all I can about the culture right now, I cannot wait to learn more about the culinary customs and cuisine of Guinea-Bissau in general and the Brame and Balanta people in particular. There is so much rich history here. One thing I have already discovered is Balanta is translated, "those who resist." I suppose that explains that tenacity I possess which a lot of folks may call stubbornness!

It also rounds out for me the other connections from Cameroon, Congo and the Bantu peoples that have shown up on my Ancestry test. It truly is a rich and rewarding feeling to be able to point to the continent of Africa and pinpoint my family's point of origin.

I am so looking forward to the culinary treasures that will be uncovered as I delve into the influences and cooking techniques that impacted Southern recipes on this Culinary Voyage. Bon Appetit!

Chef Sheri's Tips


Each Mother Sauce produces two to three secondary sauces and host of derivitive sauces.



The key to developing rich sauces is in mastering the art of making a Roux.



Over-hydrated or thin sauces can be saved by making "slurry"; part cool sauce or liquid plus starch for thickening.

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