Amish-style root beer
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Quintessential Dakar: What to Eat
A city spotlight on Dakar, Senegal’s sultry capital city, where French, Wolof, and North African influence meets local ingredients in the kitchen—and on the street.
Hand-carved pirogues on the beach in Ngor, in Dakar
Perched on the edge of West Africa, Senegal has long gone quietly about its business while its neighbors get into all sorts of trouble. Quietly, of course, is a misleading word in the context of Dakar, the sultry capital city and dust-ridden domain of all-night music clubs, infamous traffic, relentless hustlers, and nonstop construction, where the dead silence of night is regularly punctured by soaring muezzin calls to mosque.
And then there’s the food. Among other West African countries, Senegalese cuisine stands out for its distinct cultural influences—most notably from various ethnic groups (especially the dominant, native Wolof), Europe (particularly France; this was a French colony until 1960), and North Africa—and its mastery of local ingredients, seafood, millet, and groundnuts (peanuts) chief among them. Dakarois take pride in their food, be it baguettes on a sandy side street, grilled sheep in a smoky dibiterie, or a beautiful plate of ginger shrimp from a restaurant on the beach. Some expats may tell you there aren’t many restaurants in Dakar, that all the best food is prepared at home. Let’s be clear about something: If a local invites you in for a home-cooked meal—and this is likely to happen; Senegalese are famous for their hospitality—by all means, go. Failing that, a little research goes a long way in revealing plenty of dining options scattered among the city’s markets, backstreets, cozy neighborhood cafes, and upscale seafood joints. We’re here to help you find them.Read more
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Warbal, Maluku Islands, IndonesiaVisiting my dads home town, Kai, in east Indonesia, I stumbled across the small island of Warbal accessible only via speedboat. From there we travelled by speed boat to various pearl farms and un… Read more
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Chutung, TaiwanFirst encountered on the drive back from a three-day hike in the mountains of northern Taiwan--probably no meal has ever tasted so good. A street cart displays a wide range of edibles: (pre-batte… Read more
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