What’s in your kitchen?

When Americans first arrive in Dakar, one of their first challenges adventures is stocking their kitchen. So it’s no surprise that one of the first questions is often, “What do I buy and where?” Ask five people, you’ll get five answers. But here’s a sneak peek into my kitchen and what I buy from where.

Poultry: I order chicken legs and chicken breasts from Mirna at Shady Shack. (Tip: they have the best marinated chicken on Earth.)

Beef: My husband butchered a cow recently. We’re good on beef for a long time! But before that, I bought at Hypermarché Exclusive on the VDN.

Seafood: I order filets de lotte and shrimp from Abdou, who delivers all over Dakar. Good prices, always fresh and very punctual.

Vegetables: A couple comes to our neighborhood twice a week selling from their car. They have everything I need at good prices. But before working out this arrangement, I walked to the nearest big stand and got to know the vendors there.

Fruits: same as above

Herbs: We had an herb garden from Talla, which was great – and now is the best time of year to get started! But after a long vacation… I now just buy my cilantro, mint and basil along with my veggies.

Canned goods: To stock up, Hypermarché Exclusive. But more often, City Dia.

Bakery goods: I make my own whole wheat sandwich bread, order cinnamon rolls from Aissatou’s Bakery, order English muffins from Marie (leave a comment if you want her contact info – so good!) and order pita bread from Mirna at Shady Shack.

Cheeses: I buy mozzarella (blocks, not grated!) in bulk from CDA. I bought gouda that way once, but wouldn’t do it again. Cheddar is at City Dia and Gouda I can get pretty much anywhere.

Other dairy: We buy Laitcran brand powdered whole and skim milk and prefer Ardo brand lait caillé (non-sucré). I use it to make ‘Greek yogurt’ and sour cream.

Anyone else want to share what’s in their kitchen?



  1. Kari, I am guessing that mozzarella is cheaper at CDA than hypermarche or city dia? Do you think your beef from the cow you butchered is better than what you can buy at hypermarche?

    • Yes, the block mozzarella is 4,000cfa/kilo, I think. But don’t get the grated! Blech.

      And yes on the beef too. Soooo good! Grass-fed, but unfortunately still not fat-fat like American. But tastes great. We bought it from Beersheba Project.

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