Living in Kumasi is a lovely experience especially as a first timer. You get to enjoy the lovely weather as well as benefit from the low cost of living. However, if you have spent a significant part of your life in Accra, it might be a hurdle for you when it comes to enjoying street food in some parts of Kumasi, if not all. As a result, it is important to know a list of some street foods you can find in Kumasi and what to expect.
1. Non-Original Ga Kenkey
Original Ga kenkey is prepared best by the typical Ga women of Chorkor, Nima, Nungua, Kaneshie, Tema, just to name a few. For the record, if you find yourself in Tema, you can get sweet soft kenkey from Community Nine T11 (Kenkey House). Unlike in Accra, most Kumasinians add cassava dough in the making of this staple food. This defeats the original purpose. Secondly, adding cassava dough takes out the original flavor and accompanying taste. No amount of hot kpakpo shito or black pepper will make you feel good about this. In case you intend visiting Kumasi, as a fanatic of true authentic Ga kenkey, please do not be extremely expectant.
2. Red Red
We call it Red red. Typically, students refer to it as “Gobe”. People in both Accra and Kumasi enjoy it often. Interestingly, the only thing that makes a difference is the addition of certain accompaniments. In Kumasi, you will find accompaniments such as salad, sausage, pear, egg unlike in Accra where you would usually just get Beans, plantain and fish.
If you happen to be in Kumasi for the first time, don’t be surprised if you find this “brown rice” being dished out, with the ladle being used to hit the pot. This hitting is what gives the name “Kwenkwen”, it resonates the sound the ladle makes when it touches the pot. Some people refer to this brown rice as Kyinkaafa. It is originally a dish by the Northern part of Ghana but now made it a staple dish in Kumasi. You can easily buy some in any part of the city.
4. Etor (Mashed yam/plantain)
Kumasi is the home of Etor. We make Etor from mashed yam or mashed plantain whilst others prefer a mixture of both. It is typical to find etor sold in the streets and in the markets of Oseikrom. Howver, in Accra, it is usually made in homes as not a lot of people like to eat it on a regular basis. Buying a plate of Etor from Aunt Kate at the Kejetia market is not complete if you do not have it sprinkled with some groundnuts, pear, onions, spring onions and then topped with an egg and so in order to enjoy it, make a complete order.
For the people of Kumasi, fufu is like a daily meal such that it is said that a typical Ashanti man who goes a day without a bowl of Fufu, hasn’t eaten at all. From the streets of Bantama to the stalls in Ejisu and to the chop bars in Santasi, you will find a group of people enjoying a bowl of Fufu with either groundnut/goat meat/palm nut/chicken soup. You may also find them eat it with Ebunuebunu ( made with cocoyam leaves) or Werewere (melon seeds) soup. What makes it typically satisfying is that people get the chance to grind some pepper, onions, garlic and ginger based on one’s preference. Secondly, they do this in a wide earthenware provided by the chop bar. This is some kind of unifying ritual!
Is this your first time in Kumasi? Do you intend visiting the Garden City? Do try some of these meals at their best. Merci!