I wrote a post about a few years ago on the
challenge adventure Americans have when arriving in Dakar and needing to stock their kitchens. One of the first questions is often, “What do I buy and where?” Ask five people, you’ll get five answers. I looked back over the post today and realized that in just a short amount of time, many of my go-to sources and resources have changed. So here’s a sneak peek into my kitchen and what I buy from where… in 2017!
Poultry: I order chicken thighs and breasts from Le Marché du Poulet les Alliés (based at Kermel market) for three reasons: unbeatable price, fast and cheap delivery. They deliver fresh, not frozen, and the quality has been good. However this is a fairly recent discovery so hoping the honeymoon lasts.
Beef: La Boucherie Nouvelle for boneless beef, beef cuts and (free!) beef bones for making broth. For ground beef, BeerSheba Project. You can buy it at the Dakar Farmers Market or for orders of 50 kilos (gather your neighbors!), they will deliver to you in Dakar.
Pork: La Boucherie Nouvelle with their delicious roasts, chops and sausages (including American sausage patties!), ordering in English, clean packaging and speedy delivery.
BeerSheba Project sausage links and Italian sausages make my world go ’round.
Oh, and CDA has little hams we like so I buy those and freeze them. ATAC/Auchan also carries them but the two I bought from their location in Yoff were spoiled. (Please join me in convincing them that the butcher counter should not be in full sun!)
Seafood: I order filets de lotte and shrimp from Abdou, who delivers all over Dakar. Good prices, always fresh and very punctual. This has not changed in over five years. 🙂
Vegetables: Mr Ba comes to our neighborhood twice a week selling from his car with his wife. They have everything I need at good prices (and they sell in most areas of Dakar, so email me if you want info on how to be added to their rotation). But before I knew about them, I walked to the nearest big stand and got to know the vendors there.
We’ve recently started buying from Taaru Askan farm, either at the Dakar Farmers Market or when they are able to bring a fresh harvest into town for quick sale. Bok choy, kale, chard, leafy lettuces… Organic green food heaven.
For frozen vegetables, ATAC/Auchan is the best bet. But if everywhere else runs out, the Parcours / Chez Hoballah on the Corniche usually has the small bags of broccoli, cauliflower, peas and spinach.
Tip: If you’re new and want to know what’s available in Senegal in terms of produce, go to marché Kermel.
Fruits: same as above for fresh fruit.
Frozen fruit can be found at larger grocery stores, CDA (strawberries for only 2800cfa/kilo!), Patisen, Saprolait (blueberries!).
Herbs: We had an herb garden from Talla, which was great until I succeeded at killed it with my brown thumbs. Now is the best time of year to get started if you want an herb garden! But for now just buy my cilantro, mint and basil along with my veggies.
Canned goods: ATAC/Auchan or City Dia.
Bakery goods: Pull up a chair, my friend.
- Whole wheat sandwich bread, sliced: I order from Shady Shack. It’s delicious and exactly what I want in a sandwich loaf. They also have white bread, if you prefer.
- Everyday baguette: Ask for tapalapa at your local buutik. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Freezes well, makes good sandwiches and great garlic bread.
- Pita bread: Shady Shack sells the best, but grocery stores carry it too for the most part.
- Bagels, fresh or to freeze: Melo Patisserie in Mamelles or at American Food Store
- Whole wheat tortillas: Marie Simone
- Whole wheat English muffins: Marie Simone (If I could only have one bread in Dakar, this is it. So versatile.)
- Whole wheat pizza crusts: Marie Simone (Seriously amazing!)
- Banana bread / Apple bread: Marie Simone
Let me tell you about Marie Simone. She’s an amazing baker, and a wonderful person as well, who will bake and deliver to your home for a flat fee of 1500cfa, or you can find her at the Dakar Farmers Market. So make a big list, call her up (some English spoken) and stock your freezer with all kinds of yummy baked goods!
Cheeses: I buy mozzarella in 2-kilos blocks at about half the price of the grocery stores from CDA. But I don’t care for their grated mozzarella or their Gouda.
I’ve heard CDA’s Cheddar slices are good, but the price is about the same as block Cheddar at City Dia.
For Gouda in bulk (and about half the price of the grocery stores), Saprolait is the place to go. Ask a taxi driver – he should know it.
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.
And we have a weekly artisanal yogurt delivery from Club Dolima (not the same as supermarket Dolima!) that is just so incredible – both the product and the customer service.
Also Shady Shack hummus and baba ghanouj, both of which freeze well. Now I’m hungry…
Anyone else want to share what’s in their kitchen?