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Outdoor Cooking Across the African Diaspora

The tradition of outdoor cooking to prepare stews, grilled and roasted meats, and other meals is rooted in African culture and remains prevalent in communities across the African diaspora. Outdoor cooking usually involves a Dutch oven, pot, or grill over wood or coals.

Regardless of our geographical location we've found creative ways to maintain these traditions and as a result maintain ancestral and cultural connection.

All around the world Africans are preparing meals using traditional cooking techniques and ingredients and making slight adaptations based on accessibility of ingredients.

In the Afro-Brazilian community, stews made with okra and coconut milk are staples and often prepared in a dutch oven over fire.

In the Black communities in United States, recipes like Gumbo (derived from the West African word for okra) and Jambalaya (an adaptation of Jollof rice) are prepared in large dutch ovens and barbecue (the technique of smoking, grilling, and roasting meats over fire or coals) is not only a popular cooking technique but a cultural event. 

In the Caribbean, Fufu, a West African dish is made with a combination cassava, yams or plantains and cocoyams, pounded into a dough-like consistency often accompanied with stew or soup.  Many versions of barbecued meats are prepared over wood or fire which is credited to indigenous populations in the Americas and in the Caribbean.

We are thankful for the ties that bind us as African people and the creative ways we've maintained and preserved our culture. 

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