Title: Serving Ghana
Author: Dr Mrs Alberta Bondzi-Simpson
Reviewer: Dr Mrs Adwoa Sikayena Amankwah
Serving Ghana is a groundbreaking book with more than 70 popular Ghanaian indigenous recipes for hospitality with step-by-step instructions. The recipes detail a surgical A to Z approach to cooking dishes from 13 ethnic groups in Ghana.
Through a comprehensive profiling of healthy local ingredients, the book offers recipes for preparing gravy, sauces, stews, grills and fries, one-pot dishes and carbohydrate accompaniments.
The author, Dr Mrs Alberta Bondzi-Simpson, comes with formidable experience and background. She was formerly a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Cape Coast, and is currently Vice Dean, Distance Learning School, University of Professional Studies, Accra.
She says that the book will enable the younger generation to appreciate and cook Ghanaian cuisine.
“The goal is to document Ghanaian recipes and make it readily available for selflearning,” said Dr Alberta Bondzi-Simpson.
“Research has confirmed that chefs have difficulties integrating Ghanaian dishes into their menus due to concerns such as: heavy carbohydrate content, difficulty in preparation and service, minimal commercial availability of some ingredients and the lack of knowledge of recipes,” Dr Bondzi-Simpson indicated.
‘Serving Ghana’ cookbook addresses some of these concerns with its array of aesthetic and beautifully displayed ingredients, tips for à la carte and delicious mouth-watering recipes provoking a desire to explore, cook, serve and consume Ghanaian local dishes.
“Having a variety of local dishes from different ethnic groups would promote trans-cultural unity among our ethnic groups as people learn and adapt new recipes.
“Ghana can now stand tall to showcase our beautiful cuisine, thereby acquiring ISO certification for our local meals,” said 33-year-old Business Developer, Stephen.
“Local Ghanaian dishes such as akaare, brode eto, tuo-zaafi, mpopompoto, abunuabunu soup are not only tasteful but have medicinal and essential health benefits,” Stephen added.
“These days it is very difficult catching up with our mothers in the kitchen, making us inadequate in preparing many of our local dishes, much less, meals of other ethnic groups. This book would enable us explore recipes from different ethnic groups and backgrounds,” commented 25-year-old nurse, Esther.
“I love to try out new recipes - from reading recipe books to watching cooking videos online and even cooking shows on TV. The fact that this book contains recipes from other ethnic groups alone excites me,” said 25-year-old Public Relations Officer, Martha.
“Serving Ghana book will erase the inaccurate perception that our indigenous meals are not standard as it highlights the nutritious ingredients we use and the systematic processes involved in cooking our delicacies. It is a must-read!” added 24-year-old Accounts Officer, Portia.
In effect, ‘Serving Ghana’ is the book anxious mothers, busy executives, chefs in hotels and restaurants, adventurous men and growing young boys and girls need to excite their interests in cooking local recipes, while tingling their taste buds for Ghanaian time-tested local cuisine.
Simply put, it is a must-read for both professional and novice cooks, young and old, Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian.
It is available at all good bookshops.