The Road to lactose intolerance…

14 03 2009

…….goes through Burkina Faso.

I apologize for not going into this earlier…..especially for those of you familiar with my love of food. As you would have guessed in a developing nation: Burkina Faso runs on carbs. Both eating and making “to” (millet or corn based ceongealed-flan-like-substance) are national past times. Women prepare to typically for lunch and dinner, necessitating 2 hours of work (1 pounding millet through a giant mortar and pestle, another for prepping the open fire and cooking the stuff) for one giant metal bowl of to.  Sauces such as okra (gumbo), arrachide (peanut), or oisea/baobob (local leaves) accompany to and on special occasions, rice and spaghetti is consumed as a family. Protein is harder to find. Though goat and sheep are available in most villages and more and more I familiarize myself with theis country, I am seeing chicken. But seldom do the right people consume protein (there is a surplus of overweight, rich men who get it but hardly children and hard-working village women). I’ll try to refrain from the Burkinabe male bashing but I will go so far as to say that they are the primary producers. My salary from PC allows me to supplement my diet with expensive canned goods from either a local alimentation in Banfora or Marina Market when in Bobo or Ouaga. For those of you I have not raved about it yet, Marina Market is like an American Kroger where I can stocke up on “luxury” products like $5 wine, cheese, colgate toothpaste, chickpeas, spices, and haribo! Going through a bunch of old papers for compsoting, I ran into one of my receipts from the Banfora alimentation and I thought it might be fun to share for curiosity sake:
1 box of cornflakes  1100cfa
1 bottle of President radiated milk   1100cfa
3 jus (like small juice boxes in the states)  900cfa
1 can Quaker oatmeal  1500cfa
1 package of premium pasta (shells) 800cfa
small packs of regular spaghetti and macoroni style can be found in village for about 50cfa per bowls worth
1 confiture (strawberry jelly)  1100cfa
3 thon (canned tuna)  2400cfa
2 pacquets du fromage (laughing cow….like white velveta) 700 cfa
1 can of pate (congealed chicken for my dog) 600cfa
1 highly unledgable item (most likely a can of Pringles or box of cookies) 1500cfa
total= 17 700cfa = 38 USD

First off, this may not sound expensive given that it will probably last me a good 2, 3 weeks when combined with village accessible foods (bread, pasta, small vegetables, peanut butter, and bananas/mangoes) this sum is over what most families in burkina live off of for a month……Here is another receipt from the nicer grocery store in bobo- bye bye whole foods. hello lebanese-owned marina market.

Marina Market

1 Pomme (gala)     582cfa

1 paquet blanc dinde (2 slices of turkey)1930 cfa

1/2 inch thick, 6 inches long cheddar cheese from deli 2331 cfa —splurge that then made me sick because it is real dairy!

1/2 loaf of “american sandwich” bread 3140cfa

total= 7,984 cfa =17.50 USD

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