One of the most popular (and healthiest) snack foods in Ghana is simply seasonal fresh tropical fruit. Fruit is also one of the most common desserts. Three typical examples are fresh mangos, fresh oranges, and avocados (called “avocado pears” in Ghana).
In Ghana, the local variety of mangoes are generally very sweet, smaller, and much more fibrous than the larger ones. When these are in season and ripe, they fall from trees in abundance, and there is no experience quite like the joy of eating fresh juicy sweet mango. The larger mangoes are often sliced lengthwise just above and below the large seed in the center (think “filleting” the mango) to get two large halves. Here is one common way of cutting and serving them:
Slice the mango lengthwise and split in half. Turn the halves with the flesh side up, and use a knife to score the flesh lengthwise about half an inch apart down to but not through the peel. Then, score them at a 90-degree angle to make small square cubes. Holding the two ends, a slight push on the skin in the center turns the cut mango out, and the half is placed on an individual serving plate, peel side down. Or, the cubes can be sliced off and the skin removed.
Similarly oranges (often with green skin in Ghana, with many seeds and thick fibrous membranes) are enjoyed multiple ways. They are served as a kind of juice snack needing no cup: vendors along the roadside or at bus stops neatly strip off the top skin of the orange, exposing the pale thick membrane under it, then they slice off the very tip. Purchasers squeeze the orange as they suck out the thirst-quenching sweet juice from the opening at the top.
Oranges are also served as halved slices or as wedges. They make a surprisingly simple, neat, and classy snack or dessert served on a tray garnished with fresh mint leaves.
Avocados are versatile in Ghana. They may be served sliced alongside other food, in place of butter on bread, mashed into a kind of Ghanaian guacamole, or stuffed with a seafood salad.
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