2023 Chalewote Festival Food Diary

Every year, the Chalewote Street Art Festival in Accra, Ghana, brings together a vibrant celebration of art, music, and culture. While the art installations and live performances take center stage, one aspect of this festival that often goes overlooked is the incredible array of food offerings that grace the streets of Jamestown during this event.

A Taste of Tradition

Chalewote Festival provides a unique opportunity to sample some of Ghana’s most beloved traditional dishes. From the moment you step foot into the festival, the enticing aromas of waakye, jollof rice, and fried fish fill the air. These dishes are staples of Ghanaian cuisine and are prepared with a level of expertise that can only be found in the heart of Accra.

Ga Kenkey, The Ultimate Cho!

Ga kenkey is like a legendary Ghanaian food, fam! It’s a staple dish, especially among the Ga-Dangme people. Picture this: it’s made from fermented corn dough mixed with cassava dough and wrapped up in banana leaves. They give it that unique flavor and a kinda sour taste.

So, you have be patient with Ga kenkey ’cause it takes time to ferment, but when it’s ready, it’s lit! You can pair it up with some spicy pepper sauce, fried fish, or even some sardines. Trust me, the combo is straight-fire!

And, here’s the kicker: Ga kenkey isn’t just food; it’s culture, tradition, and a whole vibe. It’s a must-try if you’re ever in Ghana ’cause it’s all about that authentic local flavor, and it’s got the millennial stamp of approval, no cap!

Waakye: A Festival Favorite

One dish that stands out at Chalewote Festival is waakye. This flavorful and hearty meal is a blend of rice and beans cooked with millet leaves and served with a variety of sides. The vibrant red hue of the rice comes from the addition of sorghum leaves, which not only infuse color but also impart a unique earthy flavor. Toppings like fried fish, spaghetti, and shito (a spicy pepper sauce) complete the dish. Be prepared for a burst of flavors with each mouthful.

Jollof Rice: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Another festival favorite is jollof rice. While this dish has sparked friendly debates over which West African country prepares it best, there’s no denying that the Ghanaian version found at Chalewote is a taste sensation. The rice is cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce, seasoned with spices, and often served with fried chicken or plantains. It’s a comforting, hearty dish that’s perfect for fueling a day of art exploration.

Street Snacks Galore

In addition to the more substantial dishes, Chalewote Festival offers an abundance of street snacks to nibble on as you wander through the bustling crowds. Kelewele, spicy fried plantains, are a popular choice, as are roasted corn and groundnuts. These simple yet flavorful snacks are both affordable and satisfying, making them ideal for festivalgoers on the move.

Exploring Fusion Flavors

While traditional Ghanaian cuisine is celebrated at Chalewote, you’ll also find innovative chefs and food vendors experimenting with fusion flavors. Ghana’s culinary scene is evolving, and this festival provides a platform for chefs to showcase their creativity. Don’t be surprised to stumble upon stalls offering dishes that blend Ghanaian ingredients with international culinary influences.

The Sweet Side of Chalewote

No culinary journey is complete without a taste of something sweet. At Chalewote Festival, you can indulge your sweet tooth with traditional Ghanaian desserts like bofrot (doughnuts) or freshly fried puff-puff. If you’re feeling more adventurous, seek out vendors offering modern twists on classics, like plantain-based ice cream or Ghanaian-inspired cakes and pastries.

A Feast for the Senses

Chalewote Festival isn’t just about eating; it’s about experiencing the vibrant culture of Ghana through all your senses. The combination of captivating art, electrifying music, and mouthwatering food creates an unforgettable atmosphere. As you savor the flavors of Ghana at Chalewote, you’ll also be immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Ghanaian culture.

So, when you find yourself at Chalewote Festival, take a moment to appreciate the culinary delights that accompany the visual and auditory splendor. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking for a delicious way to fuel your festival adventure, the food at Chalewote Festival will leave you with a lasting taste of Ghana’s culinary heritage.