This is my lifesaver. The lady who sells this is 20 feet from my house. She's always smiling and friendly to me. Also, she speaks French, but gets a kick out of my attempts of speaking local language. Anyways, I went all out spending an extra 20 cents this time getting rice, beans, AND spaghetti. Normally, I'll just get the beans with gari, which is dried and pounded cassava. They add palm oil and some sauce I don't know of. For the rice and spaghetti, they add a tomato paste and pepper sauce. While it lacks in nutritional variety, this is super cheap, fills you up, and gives you more than enough carbs to do peasant work. This was sort of brunch today since I missed breakfast. If you have to know what this is called, it's just beans, rice, and macaroni (l'haricot, le riz, et le maca)
A little more exotic now. This was lunch - la pate, specifically la pate avec la sauce de gumbo et la poisson. The pate is the white thing and is made from corn flour mixed with water and boiled in a large pot. I tried making it, but it's kind of hard. Most likely because I didn't stand next to the pot staring and stirring the mixture for over an hour. Afterwards, you cover it with a towel and let it cool a bit and scoop it out to form these blobs or patties. There's different types of sauces, but if you're super cheap, you can get the default one, which is just okra sauce. Again, I spared no expense and spent the extra 20 cents to get 2 small pieces of fish. During marche day, you can get chicken, beef, lamb, and bush rat in my village. Up north they got donkey and dog. The gumbo sauce is okra, with hot peppers and what looked like tiny anchovies.
I didn't actually eat this, but it was on my table and I thought I'd share. This is one of the types of bread you can get in my village. I don't know how to spell the village name, but it's basically salt (salé) bread. It's good as an egg sandwich. There's another kind of bread I rarely get cause it's the sugar (sucré) kind. That one goes better with jam or peanut butter. You can also see some oranges that are actually green. I miss the humongous California sweet oranges I used to eat, but what can you do when you're halfway around the globe.
Finally, you gotta have hot sauce. This comes from Lomé. I wish I could find this in village. As you can see, it is totally authentic hot sauce imported all the way from Louisiana to the supermarket.
Notice how most of the foods are starch based. People can't afford to eat variety so they don't get their vitamins and proteins. Since guys typically burn carbs easier, they're skinny and cut, while the women just store the carbs, becoming bigger. If Togolese people call a girl fat, it's not an insult, it's supposed to mean she's healthy. Personally, I'm not crossing that line.