Senegalese cuisine

The cuisine of Senegal has been influenced by nations like France, Portugal, and those of North Africa, and also by many ethnic groups, the largest being the Wolof; Islam, which first penetrated the region in the 11th century; and various European cultures, especially the French, who held the country as a colony until 1960. Immigrants have brought Senegalese restaurants to many world cities, where its popularity has been growing. Because Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean, fish is very important. Chicken, lamb, pea, eggs, and beef are also used in Senegalese cooking, but not pork, due to the nations largely Muslim population. Peanuts, the primary crop, as well as couscous, white rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, black-eyed peas and various vegetables, are also incorporated into many recipes. Meats and vegetables are typically stewed or marinated in herbs and spices, and then poured over rice or couscous or simply eaten with bread. Popular fresh juices are made from bissap, ginger, Buy (pronounced buoy) which is the fruit of the baobab tree also known as "monkey bread fruit", mango, or other fruit or wild trees. Desserts are very rich and sweet, combining native ingredients with the extravagance and style characteristic of the French impact on Senegals culinary methods. They are often served with fresh fruit and are traditionally followed by coffee or tea. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 s

ecies of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importancesome others are used locally, but many are actually poisonous. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often mislabeled a "yam" in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as "yams" to also be labeled as "sweet potatoes". The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants; the name "tuberous morning glory" may be used in a horticultural context. The plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato varieties with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh. In certain parts of the world, sweet potatoes are locally known by other names, including: camote, kamote, goguma, man thet, ubi jalar, ubi keladi, shakarkand, satsuma imo, batata or el boniato. In New Zealand English, the Maori term kumara is commonly used.