After a couple of months in Liberia, I am getting used to the local food. I am not an expert yet (far from it), but I can make some comments/observations about it.
Here is what you are likely to find on a table serving Liberian food:
- Rice: This is the staple in Liberia. It is extremely likely you will always have rice. Rice is not only food, it is politically sensitive subject as the price of rice is one of the big worries of local politicians (the 1979 coup was triggered by rice riots as it was getting too expensive)
- Hot pepper sauce: Liberians love it. They cannot have a meal without it. I heard stories of Liberian travelling abroad and taking pepper sauce sachet with them.
- Fish: Grilled, fried or in a soup, you will eat a lot of fish in the Lone Star Republic. So far I had excellent fish.
- Goat or any other meat: I had my fair share of goat soup in Liberia. The thing is that sometimes you eat a meal and you are not even sure what the meat is, as it was presented to you as a mixed meat dish
- Vegetable (Cassava, potato greens): The taste is inversely proportionate to the look, so go over you initial impression and give it a bite.
- Fufu: It is dough that can accompany the main dish. Personally not a big fan, but give it a try
- Palm wine: How to describe the taste? If I was British I would say “Interesting”
If you want to learn more about Liberian food, have a look here and here. Or you can take classes in Monrovia with Pandora, her contact details are listed here. And remember: if you are invited into a Liberian home, finish your plate and fill your place twice. There is no better way to please your host!