Senegal offers a variety of tasty dishes influenced by a diverse range of culinary traditions (French, Lebanese, African, Asian).
The most popular
- The national dish, ThiebbuJeen (rice served with fish), reigns supreme on the list of dishes served. Most of the dishes are served with rice or local cereals, such as Yassa (fish or chicken cooked with lemon juice and onions), Maffé (beef or mutton in peanut sauce), or Thiéré (Millet couscous).
- Grilled meat (dibi), fish (white grouper, captain, tuna, sole, monkfish, swordfish, etc.) and shellfish (prawns, oysters, shrimp, mussels, etc.) is eaten under the rays of sunset in Senegal.
- Local soft drinks are prepared with flavored herbs: bissap (drinks made from hibiscus leaves), ginger drink, bouye (made from baobab fruit), and ditakh.
The country has a high number of restaurants with different menu offerings for all portfolios: from traditional dishes to the dishes prepared a la carte by chefs trained in the best European restaurants.
The story of ataya
Ataya is not just a drink. It is one of the key ways by which Senegalese extend their legendary hospitality. Ataya is taken like an appetizer, and is a moment of great conviviality. It is one of the rare pleasures that everyone can afford. And it helps people entertain visitors from all backgrounds and social classes.
The ritual consists in sitting together around a little enamel or iron teapot that is heating on a stove or a small gas stove and into which green tea (warga) is infused with sugar and mint. One needs technique and dexterity to prepare ataya properly. One can tell an expert hand from the way it pours the tea and the distance from which it can do so to have a maximum amount of foam in the glass. The tradition is to drink 3 rounds of Ataya. The 1st glass is usually bitter with very little sugar. The 2nd is a bit sweeter and the 3rd is very sweet.