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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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Food & Drink: Afro Coffee A Funky Speciality Beverage Brand

Afro Coffee [South Africa] [Image credit: Speciality Teas – Afro Coffee] Starting out as an ordinary cafe selling coffee in Cape Town, South Africa in 2004 a radical rebrand saw the first Afro Cafe open its doors to reveal a riot of bold colour, clashing patterns, and cool characters; across the interior, packaging, and accessories. Young and funky, Afro Coffee was out to have a bit fun, bringing its own retro-tinged interpretation of the urban African vibe to a range of beverages. Owner, Grant Rushmere with the help of two Austrian partners sought to challenge the image of the continent by bringing a […]

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Food & Drink: Prestat, the Quintessential British Chocolatier

Prestat/Esoko [São Tomé / Madagascar / Ghana] [Image credits: left, Sao Tome; right, Madagascar Single Origin Chocolate Buttons – Prestat] You’d have thought I’d have had my fill of chocolate over Christmas, and given I’m still making my way through the leftovers I now have my eye on some chocolate buttons, a particular favourite, I do like the way they melt in your mouth one drop at a time…makes them a very moreish treat. The targets currently in mind are some Single Origin Chocolate Buttons from Prestat, the quintessential London-based chocolatier whose confections I came across when I took a detour through […]

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Food & Drink: Tariro Masayiti Nederburg Senior Winemaker

Nederburg [South Africa/Zimbabwe] [Image credit: The Nederburg Winery Estate] My Dad loves a glass of red wine every once in a while, and South African wines are a particular favourite as being so far from home it’s a small reminder of the region. However nostalgia aside, over the years South African wines, in general, have become an increasing presence on UK retail shelves, from supermarkets to dedicated wine shops. One of the more established brands is Nederburg, one of South Africa’s oldest and most awarded wineries, whose vintages have a growing international presence, holding their own in the highly competitive markets […]

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Food & Drink: Ghalia Alia Mahmoud Egyptian Celebrity Chef

Ghalia Alia Mahmoud [Egypt] [Image source: Stills from Ghalia Mahmoud Cooking Show – 25TV] A year ago the Arab nations of North Africa were on the verge of momentous change and amidst the uncertainty of a post-revolutionary Egypt emerged a symbol of the new nation in the form of Ghalia Alia Mahmoud, a former maid and cook turned celebrity chef. Ghalia’s warm personality and humble beginnings inspired ordinary everyday Egyptians, instilling a sense of hope in the future of their nation. Thanks to a 60-minute cooking show aired three times a week on the newly launched 25TV – a revitalised Egyptian television station […]

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Food & Drink: African Cuisine with Akhaya Cookery School

Akhaya Cookery School [Nigeria] New to African cooking or simply want to try your hand at creating dishes from another part of the continent, then look to Akhaya Cookery School to help you on your way. I was watching a recent episode of CNN’s Inside Africa when I saw a profile on young Nigerian entrepreneur Jennifer Okpapi and the cooking classes she runs in Tottenham, North London based on her love for African food.

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Food & Drink: Madécasse, Luxury Single-Source Chocolate Made in Africa

Madécasse [Madagascar] [Image credit: Madécasse] Pink pepper and citrus, exotic pepper, and sea salt and nibs are just some of the rather interesting flavour combinations you will find in a Madécasse chocolate bar. Recently named ‘one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies’ by Fast Company magazine, Madécasse is on a mission to revolutionise Africa’s chocolate industry by becoming one of the few fine chocolate companies to produce a bar that is not only grown in Africa, but is also produced in Africa. The stats on the website highlight the fact that although Africa produces 70% of the world’s cocoa, actual chocolate production amounts […]

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Food & Drink: ccTreats Tasty Little Luxuries

cctreats [Zimbabwe] Today has been a day of celebration; the culmination of an intense, but thoroughly rewarding year of study as I attended my graduation in the company of my family and was formally awarded my Master of Arts degree. I enjoyed my MA; so involved was I in the areas I was exploring that I wasn’t ready to let go when it ended and this was one of the reasons I started African Daydreams; I’m still learning! For me a celebration is incomplete without some form of delicious goodies from CocktailCouture, a London based events company that recently launched cctreats; a delectable […]

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Food & Drink: Hassan M’Souli Moroccan Chef, Restauranteur, Author

Out of Africa [Morocco] [Image credit: Argan Oil – Out of Africa] Moroccan chef, Hassan M’Souli has been tantalising the taste buds of Australians in New South Wales, since arriving on the shores of Sydney from Casablanca in 1985. Opening the door of his award-winning restaurant ‘Out of Africa’ in 1995, Hassan cites being in his mother’s kitchen from a young age as the source of his passion for cooking; and Sydney provided the opportunity to introduce a new and unique taste to the local dining experience.  Out of Africa serves up aromatic dishes that pay homage to traditional Moroccan influences and […]

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Food & Drink: Land of a Thousand Hills Drink Coffee Do Good

Buf Café / Coadeka-Bukonya / Land of a Thousand Hills [Rwanda] [Image credit: Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company] For many getting through the day without a cup of coffee can be a struggle, I don’t drink coffee – it works rather too well keeping me wide-awake for days – but I do like the rich aroma of roasted coffee beans. However, coffee is among one of the most exploitative industries in the world a focus of many fair trade initiatives towards making a positive and lasting change; especially where fair wages and export tariffs are concerned. Recognising this […]

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Food & Drink: Original Beans Chocolate at London Chocolate Festival 

Original Beans [Democratic Republic of Congo] [Image credit: Original Beans] Spent a rather indulgent, calorie-busting afternoon with family at the London Chocolate Festival yesterday. Although smaller than I anticipated the Festival, held over three days on London’s Southbank, brought together some of the finest chocolatiers, along with the opportunity to try before you buy – a chocolate lover’s dream. We were fortunate enough to have another gloriously hot spring day which brought out the crowds; not only to the Festival but right along the stretch of the Southbank from Tower Bridge to the London Eye. Southbank is one of my favourite places […]

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Food & Drink: Dorah Sithole Cooking from Cape to Cairo

Dorah Sithole [South Africa] [Image source: Tafelberg] Whether it’s a steaming plate of sadza ne nyama, a beautifully fragranced lamb tagine, spicy jollof rice or a Sunday roast; our favourite foods done just the way we like it provide a source of comfort, reminding us of Mum’s good home cooking and with Mother’s Day in the UK a week away, on Sunday 3rd April what a good day as any to get together, cook up a feast and honour our Mothers as we make them feel extra, extra special. As the flurry of gift buying gets underway if your Mum […]

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Food & Drink: The Khaya Cookie Company’s Tasty Treats

The Khaya Cookie Company [South Africa] [Image credit: The Khaya Cookie Company] The annoying thing about cookies is that if they are tasty you can’t just eat one…and looking at the delicious offerings from The Khaya Cookie Company I think I should start running in the opposite direction because they look absolutely irresistible! Khaya cookies are handmade in the winelands of South Africa, using locally sourced ingredients. Working with the local community the freshest organic fruits come from local farmers and no preservatives are used, just natural healthy goodness.

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Food & Drink: Raising a Glass with Thandi Wines

Thandi Wines [South Africa]   [Image credit: Thandi Wines] The Xhosa word for ‘nurturing love’ Thandi is the name given to a wine brand that is not your average wine company, but one this breaking boundaries. Established in Elgin, South Africa in 1995 Thandi Wines has ethical trading and social transformation at the heart of its core values, actively involving the community within the entire wine production chain to help create wealth and uplift previously disadvantaged people. Whilst also focusing on producing a high-quality product, it is these values that saw the company become the first wine brand in the world to receive […]

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Food & Drink: Paradise Coffee

Paradise Coffee [Africa Inspired]     Based in Kyiv, Ukraine; Kyiv Coffee Factory brings you a carefully selected range of the world’s best coffee. The coffee is marketed under the brand name Paradise and comes beautifully packaged, it was through the packaging showcased on African Digital Art where I was introduced to the brand. Included in their offerings are some of Africa’s finest coffees from: Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda.     [Image credits: Paradise] The coffee can be purchased as loose beans or milled in vacuum packs. Paradise also has a vacuum packed selection of eight 125gram popular blends including coffee from: Costa […]

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Food & Drink: Irresistible Delectable treats From G Desserts

G Desserts [Image credit: G Desserts] My sister is an avid baker often conjuring up the most delectable treats, so one day a few weeks ago whilst watching her whip up a batch of cupcakes I mused the rise and rise of the cupcake, and where they could possibly go next… so imagine my delight when I came across a Daily Candy London posting on the most exquisite looking cupcakes encased in a glass jar. How simple but ingenious an idea brought to you by Gillian Boateng of G Desserts. [Image credits: G Desserts] The idea was one born out of practicality – […]

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Food & Drink: Chocolates for a Cause

Compartes Chocolatier [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Compartes Chocolatier] Benefiting Relief International’s efforts in Darfur, celebrated Los Angeles-based chocolatier, Compartes has created a special collection of chocolates called ‘Chocolates for a Cause’. With over 60 years producing handcrafted artisan gourmet chocolates, Compartes takes pride in using only the best and freshest ingredients for their confectionary, searching the world for inspiration and ingredients. The Chocolates for a Cause range are made with fruits and spices sourced from North and West Africa, with flavours including cardamom, coconut, coffee, grains of paradise and caramelised plantain. The gift sets come with a Relief Beads bracelet, and each chocolate square displays a […]

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Food & Drink: It Started with a Label

Boer & Brit [South Africa] [Image credit: Boer & Brit] I am a sucker for great looking packaging so I guess that makes me a marketeers dream, and whilst doing some research on packaging for a project I stumbled upon LovelyPackage a site that appreciates the very best in packaging design from all over the world – I could spend all day on there! Any hoo, getting to the point, I came across some rather beautiful packaging for a champagne bottle by a South African wine company called Boer & Brit. It wasn’t so much the label that got me daydreaming but a […]

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Food & Drink: Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson [Ethiopia] [Image credits: abcnews.com recipes: salad and dessert]  Ethiopian born, Swedish raised and now living in Harlem, top chef Marcus Samuelsson certainly has a lot of influences to bring to his culinary creations and has been praised for introducing innovative interpretations to classic Swedish dishes and quality of flavours and textures his food possesses. Adopted by a Swedish couple at the age of three Marcus grew up in Sweden and learnt his love of cookery there, training to be a chef before moving to France and then America where his career has flourished.

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Food &Drink: Divine Chocolate Made with Ghanaian Cocoa

Divine Chocolate [Ghana] [Image credits: Divine Chocolate] Fairtrade packaging has often meant a palette of natural earthy colours and utilising materials like hemp, sisal and handmade paper as a way of giving added credibility to the principles of the product, and whilst there is nothing wrong with this products can end up looking samey-samey when vying for our attention on the store shelf. Eliciting comments like ‘It is refreshing to see a fair trade product packaged as beautifully as this’ (Lovely Package, 2009) and ‘…elegant packaging makes them the perfect gift’ (the Guardian Eco Store), Divine Chocolate made with Ghanaian cocoa is a brand […]

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