Pineapples, Bananas and Mangos— Oh My -by Kimberley Langston

EatingBy this point in the trip, the whole team is craving a huge, cold, crisp salad. We cannot eat the produce here unless it is cooked because the water it is washed with is not normally safe water. Back in the States, our family eats a lot of fruits and veggies so it’s been wonderful to have an assortment of delicious fruits to supplement the staples of chicken and rice. What is even more amazing is buying them fresh, right off the trees from the roadside stands.

BananasOur second day in Ghana, Debi brought us bananas. My kids would have called them baby bananas – they are about half the size of what we normally buy. I peeled my first one, took a bite and immediately fell in love with them. They are delicious, sweet, melt in your mouth gems and I had about three more after that first bite. I cannot even count how many I’ve eaten this whole trip, but I certainly don’t expect the scale to be lower when I get home 🙂

In those first few days I was also introduced toPineapple the Ghananian pineapples – yummmmy! They are smaller than the pineapples at home and soooo much tastier. They are white inside, with a much less acidic taste, sweeter, and the core is soft enough to eat instead of cutting away. We all want to bring one home so we can plant a pineapple tree in our yard, but there are some silly customs rules about not doing that – boo! As soon as Debi brought us pineapples for the first time, the ladies decided we needed to have fruit for breakfast, dessert, or snack each day. On our way home each night, we stop at a roadside stand and buy some for that night or the next day. It’s basically become an obsession 🙂

Finally came mangos – ahhhhh, mangos. During one of our roadside stand stops, Zach bought some mangos. He let them ripen for about three days before we had them cut and served with the pineapple for dessert one night. As soon as we tasted it, we were hooked and mangos became the our second obsession. They are so juicy and soft that they too melt in your mouth (and slide off your toothpick) with ease. I could not believe Zach had kept these treats a secret for so long!Mangos

One last Ghanaian experience that has been cool is their version of “fast food”. There are roadside stands that advertise “fast food” for the walk-up traffic. What I like best though, is their alternative to our drive-thru. Instead of you driving up to a food vendor, they just walk up to you when you are stuck in traffic or stopped at a red light. We can be on a 6 lane major road, get stopped at a red light and 20 or more vendors, many selling snacks and foods, will be walking up and down between the cars selling their wares. It’s like having Wal-Mart’s inventory available for purchase right from your car window :-). I just know the first day I am back in bumper to bumper Washington DC traffic I am going to wish that Chick-Fil-A vendors were walking up and down Route 50 selling breakfast biscuts through the car windows. Yep, I might just bring that idea home with me ;-).traffic

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