Caring is Sharing Kenkey

Asheley is a Ghanaian from New Jersey. She pronounces her “waters” as “wu-otters” and prefers lactose free milk despite not being lactose intolerant. Although short, her height is often overseen because of her bright and infectious laughs and funny comments. She is a great dancer and is involved in an African dance group on campus. On most days, she will eat pizza, because she does not prefer much else. But on occasion, she will branch out and eat a salad or pasta. Her favorite food goes back to her African roots and is called kenkey.

“My comfort food is kenkey (pronounced “kaink-kay”). You remember, this is fermented? I think it’s made from cornmeal and then fermented. I love eating kenkey with seafood; garlic shrimp or oven-baked tilapia is my favorite. Oh and with African pepper on the side.

Ironically, I hated it when I was younger. But I think after all the years of eating it, I’ve gotten used to it. And it’s fermented and tastes like alcohol, which makes me like it even more now, haha!

When I was younger, my mom would cook it at home all the time, and I would hate it because it smelled so bad. Kenkey is really starchy, so it’s really filling. You can eat once and be full the entire day. I’d eat it for breakfast, which is really not that great for you, so I can be full the whole day because it was so heavy.

It’s just a really comforting dish. Traditionally, you eat it with your hands, and, in Ghana, we share with family, so we would put kenkey in the center and sit around it and eat. But you gotta be careful when you share food, because some people eat a lot. I remember in Ghana sitting with my cousins and sharing kenkey.

I just have a lot of memories associated with it; we would buy it from the vendors, so I remember eating it at home when we were in Ghana for the summer.”

you grab a piece of kenkey, roll it into a ball in your hands, and dip it in curry sauces or eat it with fish, beans, and other vegetables







Latter picture is pulled from:


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