The Gambia

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa.  It is mostly surrounded by Senegal, except for a short strip on the Atlantic coastline.  The River Gambie (from which the country takes it’s name) flows from east to west for three hundred miles, the entire length of the country.

The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965.  A short-lived federation of Senegambia was formed between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then.

The Gambia’s economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and especially tourism.  They have 100,000 tourists visiting each year, mainly from Europe, and 50% are from the UK.  Among birdwatchers it is revered as one of Africa’s best birding destinations with more than 560 different species spotted.  Other highlights include the Atlantic Coast resorts with it’s lovely beaches & fishing villages, Banjul market (the capital), taking a pirogue ride through the mangroves and James Island slavery museum.

Recipes I came across for The Gambia were Domada (peanut & tomato paste), Superkanja (okra & beef stew), Base nyebe (rich stew of chicken or beef with green beans and other vegetables) and Chere (steamed millet flour balls).  I decided to make Cashew Nut Ngato (cashew nut brittle), which in all honesty turned into a bit of a disaster.  I’m not sure if the ingredient ratios I followed weren’t quite right or if I should’ve bashed the nuts before adding them to the sugar, but either way it wasn’t great!

Rating: 3/10

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