When I go to Ghana, waakye (pronounced waachey), bufloat, and kenkey are three foods I have to have at all costs. Please forgive me for only having pictures of the waakye this time around because I scoffed the other bits before I even realised what I was doing. Pictures were the last thing on my mind…
I never, I repeat, never, ever, ever ever, leave without my fix of waakye. It just can’t happen. It reminds me of times long gone when I was at a boarding school with semi-poisonous food, and Aunty Akwele’s waakye stall was the only thing that kept starvation at bay.
That’s a long time ago, but the taste for waakye has remained. It is basically beans and rice cooked together with sorrell leaves to give it the red colour. It is then mixed with spaghetti, garri foto (spicy cassava crumbs), salad, stew, pepper sauce, and any array of meat you want. Over here, I have meat, fish, and a boiled egg. It sounds odd and unlikely, but I guarantee you it works. Now strangely, waakye is a breakfast food in Ghana. So you eat this in the morning, and you are good to go for the whole day. There’s no way you can eat anything else after this. I think the portions are far too big. Even the smallest portion you can buy, is enourmous.
What you see on my plate is half the minimum portion of 80 peswas. They never sell me 40 peswas worth, and whenever I ask they hiss at me like I’m crazy. So I ended up sharing the mammoth minimum 80 peswa portion with my uncle who had never tried waakye before. The other items were about 20 peswas each and the meat a bit more, our whole meal came to 5 cedis in total which is roughly 2.5 dollars. We were both like overfed pythons afterward, albeit very happy ones. You can buy waakye on any street corner in Ghana. Never, ever try this in a restaurant because it is bound to be rubbish. This is strictly street business y’heard?
I found another street food which I’ve never had the guts to try before – smoked prawns. They are smoked in their shells and so remain quite juicy on the inside.
We bought them on the road back from Elmina, beyond Cape Coast and just before Winneba. 3 bags for 5 cedis. Cheeeeeap… and delicious. We scoffed a few in the car and then brought these back home to be enjoyed with a glass of wine before dinner.
Prawns and red wine, you ask? Yes! It went beautifully. This was a particularly potent, leggy Cab Sauv, that tasted almost fortified and somehow it worked with the briney, smokey prawns. After a long journey, anything tastes amazing, haha!