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Amatte Africa’s Finest Blends for Coffee Connoisseurs

The Arabica coffee plant is said to have been discovered in 9th Century Abyssinia, (now Ethiopia) and soon after made its way across the globe via the flourishing trade routes. Coffee is an important of Ethiopian culture, and as Africa’s top producer the crop has economic significance as an industry said to employ around 15 million people. Recognising the impact the coffee industry has on local communities social entrepreneur Amani Kiflemariam founded Amatte with a focus on empowering small-scale female coffee farmers.

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5 Chefs Bringing The Flavours of West African Cuisine to International Foodies

Africa has yet to make a permanent mark on international cuisine. Pop up experiences and cookbooks like The Groundnut Cookbook, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Hibiscus have introduced culinary enthusiasts to the diverse tastes of African flavours. Serving as worthy introductions to what the continent has to offer these pioneers have only just scratched the surface. The sheer diversity of Africa’s regions and cultures means there are more exciting taste experiences waiting to be brought forth.

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Design Inspired by the Decorative Forms Of Adinkra Symbols

As I highlighted in a previous editorial on Adinkra symbols are a much-referenced communication system that has endured to present day. The Adinkra symbols designs carry within them centuries of wisdom and are among one of the African continent’s oldest writing systems. The symbols have inspired designers and artists the world over who have drawn on the distinctive graphic shapes to create anything from jewellery to patterned textiles. I introduce 5 contemporary African brands referencing the Adinkra symbols in their designs, and in doing so giving them relevance in a modern day and age.

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Ikoyi Fining Dining Inspired by West African Flavours

London fine dining experiences focusing on African cuisine are few and far between. Enter Ikoyi whose West African inspired flavours have got the critics buzzing. Despite offering dishes such as Jollof Rice and Suya Ikoyi’s founders are keen to stress that the restaurant is not a West African restaurant rather one that uses the ingredients and spices to come up with something new. This approach sees ingredients unfamiliar to European palates combined with local British seasonal produce. The Ikoyi menu is created on a foundation of spices most of which are sourced from West Africa.

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Akrafo Luxury Organic and Natural Condiments Made In Africa

fooThe SWAADY Group, creators of the luxury tea brand YSWARA, have created Akrafo a range of luxury premium organic artisanal teas, and gourmet sweet and savoury condiments ethically made in Africa. The name Akrafo refers to the soul-washers of the ancient Ashanti kingdom, who were responsible for the well-being of the community. And it is this spirit of looking out for others that is instilled into the Akrafo ethos, which upholds the SWAADY Group’s Luxe Ubuntu philosophy, of creating luxury brands with a social responsibility.

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Food: Aduna Championing the Health Benefits of Baobab Superfood Powder In the Make Baobab Famous Campaign

Aduna [Image credit: Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder – Aduna] Health, beauty and social brand, Aduna, has recently launched #MakeBaobabFamous, a nationwide campaign to help increase awareness of baobab, a healthy African superfood. Found in 32 countries across the continent the baobab tree has been revered throughout Africa for its longevity and natural well-being properties. Baobab fruit has many health benefits as it  is rich in fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C, which contributes to normal immune function, energy release and skin health. Yet, despite growing abundantly, baobab fruit mainly goes to waste due to a lack of demand and global awareness of the benefits, but with an […]

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Book: Modern African Food And Recipes From The Groundnut Cookbook

Whilst passing through Waterstones Piccadilly, my eye was drawn to a colourful book display positioned in front of the elevators. Stopping to get a better a look I was introduced to The Groundnut Cookbook, exploring modern African food. The Groundnut Cookbook was written by Duval Timothy, Jacob Fodio Todd, and Folayemi Brown three friends who run a bi-monthly London supper club called The Groundnut, hence the name of the book.

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Food & Drink: YSWARA, Precious African Teas

Yswara [South Africa] [Image credit: Yswara Tea] Working for many years in the design industry, I have always been fascinated with the way brands develop, the stories behind them, and so have delighted in watching innovative luxury tea brand, Yswara blossom into something truly special. When I was first introduced to Yswara about a year and a half ago, the brand was still in its infancy, developing its visual face so to speak, and whilst their current website was being created, their blog had some insightful information on the evolution of their logo and icon, which if I remember correctly is based […]

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Food & Drink: Colourful Cooking with Siba Mtongana

Siba’s Table/Siba’s Festive Table [South Africa] [Image credits: Siba’s Sunday Trifle, Siba’s Table – Food Network UK] Viewers of the Africa Channel will be familiar with the cooking show, ‘Cooking with Siba’, presented by food editor and writer, Siba Mtongana. Siba’s vivacious personality won her many fans, not just in her home country South Africa, but also across the Continent. In October Siba brought her fusion of contemporary South African and international cooking styles to a global audience with the premiere of her new show, ‘Siba’s Table’ on the Food Network UK cable channel. Siba becomes the second South African TV […]

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Food & Drink: Getting Saucy with Pepper & Stew

Pepper & Stew [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: African Cooking Sauces – Pepper & Stew] Sky Living TV channel in the UK is currently running a series called Cooks to Market. The concept of the show is to get budding cooks and food brands onto retail shelves, and see two different brands going up against each other and selling their product in food market and win the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of leading food UK experts. Of the two episodes I have managed to catch, both featured African food brands who  both outsold their rivals to go on and […]

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Food & Drink: Ambessa Teas by Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Ambessa Teas [Ethiopia] [Image credit: Ambessa Teas – Marcus Samuelsson] Amharic for Lion, Ambessa is a new range of specialty teas created by top chef Marcus Samuelsson. Marcus embarked on creating the tea blends whilst writing his recently published memoirs; Yes, Chef. For the people of Ethiopia Ambessa represents pride, strength, and independence; and for Marcus’ Ambessa also represents his travels, experiences, and the everyday journeys that are a part of life.

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Food & Drink: Honest Chocolate Artisanal Chocolatier

Honest Chocolate [South Africa] [Image credits: clockwise from top left, Bonbons, Chocolate Spread, Chocolate Slabs – Honest Chocolate] Experimentation using raw cacao to produce a healthy treat led to the creation of Honest Chocolate; a small artisanal chocolate company based in Cape Town, South Africa. The company’s founder, Anthony Gird began teaching himself the art of chocolate making and was soon joined by Michael de Klerk who had also been experimenting with raw chocolate whilst in London. Using ‘traditional, old school chocolate-making methods’ small batches are handmade by a team of four that includes Anthony and Michael.   

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Food & Drink: Master chef UK 2012 Winner Shelina Permalloo

Shelina Permalloo [Mauritius]    A chef who brings ‘…bring[s] sunshine to a plate’ is how Gregg Wallace and John Torode, the judges of Masterchef UK described 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo’s cooking. British-born of Mauritian descent Shelina was inspired to cook by her mum and aunty, developing a love of food at a young age as she helped her Mum with the cooking. Having grown-up in the UK Shelina also credits food with helping her to better understand her Mauritian heritage and culture, saying it makes her feel closer to Mauritius, her heritage and her family. Throughout the competition Shelina brought her Mauritian heritage into […]

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Food & Drink: Speciality Teas Inspired by Africa

Caranda Tea [Liberia]   A longing for the familiar tastes of home led Liberian entrepreneur, Doughba Caranda-Martin to set up Caranda Fine Foods, a business that specialises in creating a range of premium beverages and condiments inspired by the diverse regions of the African continent. Residing in the USA, Doughba recalls childhood memories of evening walks collecting the leaves and herbs that were then boiled with Lemongrass. Doughba started out blending teas and the product range has since expanded to include coffees, cocoas, and condiments like flavoured salts and meat rubs. 

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Food & Drink: cctreats Award-Winning Cupcakes

cctreats [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Midnight Safari Cupcake – cctreats] Yesterday in the heart of London’s West End, a cupcake inspired by Africa wowed some of the UK’s top bakery and patisserie chefs to be awarded the National Cupcake Awards title of ‘Most Innovative Cupcake of the Year 2011’. Beating off competition from bakers drawn across the UK, the stylishly titled ‘Midnight Safari Cupcake’ was the creation of cctreats, whom African Daydreams profiled about a month ago.

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Food & Drink: Kitchens of Africa Cooking Sauces

Kitchens of Africa [The Gambia]   There is nothing wrong with slow cooking, in fact it can be an enjoyable experience as you mix, stir, season, and simmer in anticipation of savouring your culinary efforts. Unfortunately in the face of hectic schedules, reality bites and slow cooking is just not possible night after night with so many other things competing for your time prompting the turn to convenience food. Convenience food has its pros, meals in minutes and it’s cons, a reputation of nasty additives, flavour enhancers and preservatives. However, the availability of pre-prepared foods like sauces can be an […]

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Food & Drink: Ndali Intense Vanilla Extract

Ndali [Uganda]     I love the taste and smell of vanilla; and find creamy vanilla ice-cream, the kind where you can just see the bean flecks, and light fluffy sponges made with real vanilla extract irresistible and comforting. Good quality vanilla bean pod sticks, extract, and paste is valued by bakers and chefs looking to add that familiar rich flavour and intense aroma to their culinary creations. One brand favoured by some of the UK’s leading chefs is Ndali; a 1000-acre farm located in the midst of the explosion craters of the Ndali Volcanic Field in Western Uganda; and is a […]

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