Thanksgiving in Dakar!

‘Tis the season… to realize you’re way behind on Thanksgiving prep! Never fear. Dakar Eats is scrambling too here.

Thanksgiving-à-Dakar-38-1024x683
Photo by Les Gourmandises de Karelle, from our Thanksgiving collab!

Let’s talk turkey.
American Food Store in Almadies has frozen turkeys.

La Boucherie Nouvelle in Point E has turkey (year round!) and delivers. And the owner speaks English.

Poulet Express has had turkeys in the past. Call 33 842 9686 or 33 821 5888.

Le Gac butcher in Yoff Virage has turkeys raised locally.

Casino grocery stores and Hypermarché Exclusive on the VDN have also carried turkeys in the past. (A word of warning, some turkeys were said to have a fishy taste because they had been raised on food containing, well, fish.)

Dressing/Stuffing
Between tapalapa bread and cornbread, I think most recipes should work here. The American Food Store also carries Jiffy brand cornbread mix and lots of stuffing mix as well.

Good looking celery at a good price was spotted recently at Auchan Mermoz!

Sage‘ in French = sauge

Sweet potatoes
Great news! Locally grown orange sweet potatoes have hit the market and are available at Marché Kermel, Castor Market and other veggie stands around town – and quite reasonably prices. Ask for ‘patates douces oranges’.

Local white sweet potatoes aren’t quite right in terms of texture and taste. But carrots work surprisingly well for casseroles and soufflés. (I usually use 4 carrots to every 1 local sweet potato in my recipes. And I’m not above adding a little red/yellow food coloring to make it look right!)

Mashed potatoes
No probs.

Green bean casserole
The American Food Store in Almadies often carries cream of mushrooms soup, and so does Hypermarché Exclusive. You can also buy the powdered soup mix at Auchan and Casino. Or make a white sauce, add frozen mushrooms and cube of beef bouillon. This stuff is what you want to look for.

Good news on the crunchy onions front! The oignons croustillants available in the apéritifs section at Casino and Hypermarché work great. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the American Food Store has them in stock this time of year.

Cranberry sauce
The American Food Store will have us covered on this one.

From a reader: If you want to enjoy the taste of fresh cranberries all year long, now is the time to stock up on fresh bissap (roselle), as it will be gone soon. Have your housekeeper or a local friend help you get a bunch at the market, wash, chop, and freeze it in small Ziplock bags, and use in any recipe calling for fresh cranberries. Delicious!

For recipes that call for cranberries, you can often substitute… bissap flowers! Just rehydrate them in boiling water, cool and chop. Here’s an example in these white chocolate & bissap oatmeal cookies.

Deviled eggs
Local buutik eggs + cornichons or sweet relish from The American Food Store + mayonnaise + paprika. You’re all set. Here’s a recipe using locally available ingredients.

Rolls
All ingredients available here, even whole wheat flour if you’re going healthier this year. If you want to get ahead of the game, you could order yeast rolls from Marie and freeze them. On Thanksgiving, just thaw, heat and serve.

Wine
Africa Gourmet offers its Thanksgiving-inspired expertise!

Pecan pie
As far as I know, pecans are not easily available in Dakar. Does anyone know differently? The American Food Store does have Caro syrup in stock.

Frozen pastry crusts are available at most grocery store chains.

Pumpkin pie
The American Food Store has canned Libby’s pumpkin in stock as well as graham cracker crusts.

Or let carrots save the day! Seriously. Try it. You’ll be amazed. (Carrot purée can also be used in all those pumpkin recipes filling your Pinterest feed.) You can also use local naajo, but I prefer carrots.

All the spices are available individually at Auchan, Casino and Hypermarché, with the exception of occasionally hard-to-find ground cloves.

Frozen pastry crusts are available at most grocery store chains.

Or…
If you want a perfect dessert and no hassle, order a cheesecake with berries from Simone Café.

As they say in America… bon appétit!

PS. You could always get your Thanksgiving meal from Mawa’s American Restaurant in Almadies or Dream Sports Bar in Ngor!

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