Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
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What: Fry fry is a catchall term for a variety of (usually fried) foods—plus spaghetti, randomly—that is served on the street with bread. You order, and pay, à la carte: Offerings might include fried plantains, akara (fried black-eyed-bean fritters), gari (shredded cassava) cake, bongo (smoked herring, served whole), french fries, fried chicken, a bowl of spaghetti, hard-boiled eggs, perhaps some binch (black-eyed beans), and always nice loaves of fluffy Fula bread and spicy pepper sauce (a.k.a. fry stew). Look for a vendor who keeps her foods covered with plastic, and who uses a spoon to dish everything out. And then be creative with your sandwich—you can make something really delicious here.
Where: On the street in just about any Salone city! Pictured is the fry fry we sampled in John Obey on the Freetown Peninsula, along the highway to Bureh (at the top of the road that leads down to the beach, and Tribewanted).
When: Fry fry seems to be all day, all night kind of fare.
Order: You decide! The smoky, meaty bongo was the best thing at this stand, with some egg or cassava and pepper sauce in a loaf of bread. Plantains and eggs also pair up well, although the locals always seem to go for the spaghetti…
Alternatively: We had another memorable fry fry on the street in Kenema, in front of the Capitol Hotel (51 Hangha Rd., map), where a favorite combo was plantain, beans, gari cake, and fry stew, for approximately Le3,000.
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