Mali, which means hippopotamus in Bambara, is a country of traditions where the cuisine, which is extraordinarily varied, is both strongly marked by rituals and symbols and yet playful and tasty, surprising and modern.
While sharing a common dish with the family remains a solemn moment that follows very precise rules, in town, what Malians call "cuisine of desire" tempts us at every street corner in the form of kebabs, bean or manioc fritters, roasted, salted, sweetened or caramelised peanuts, or fresh berlingots made from hibiscus, tamarind or baobab juice...
Because Malian cuisine is a gourmet cuisine with concentrated and powerful flavours, that of a country where it is hot and dry most of the year, where the small cereals of the arid zones such as millet, sorghum or fonio, with their fine and sandy texture, give a couscous of an exquisite flavour, and where the fruits - lemon, banana, mango - develop soft and sweet fragrances. The drinks are not left out with the recipe of the famous da blini (or bissap) made with hibiscus, or the famous mint tea different from the Moroccan one...
This book will take you on a journey through the sublime landscapes of one of the most beautiful countries in West Africa, from the city to the bush, from Bamako to the Dogon country, passing through Mopti, a fishermen's town, and Timbuktu, a caravaneer's town, going up the mythical Niger River.
by Lydia Gautier and Jean-François Mallet, published by Hermé, September 2006
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