Cooking demonstrations that catch everyone’s attention

I just came back from the Culinary Demonstrations held in the school of Loboudou Doué, in the Senegalese department of Podor, close to the border with Mauritania.

The ladies who normally cook for the school-canteen are the protagonists of this activity. The aim is for them to show the other members of the community, new improved recipes that can contribute to the nutritional wellbeing of children, pregnant women and elderly people.

Everyone who has influence in the community is invited to the event. Some graphic material has been distributed among the public, which includes a visual guide to the recipes which will be presented.

A group of 7 ladies has been cooking all morning and then has waited for the audience to gather around the shade of a gigantic tree, right next to the school. When everyone has found a seat, they have shown the 3 dishes they have prepared: one for breakfast, another one for lunch, and the last one for dinner.

The 3 recipes include products that are available locally and are traditionally used in all-time dishes, but with a special new touch. The powder from the moringa tree (plant that has been introduced in school-orchards by the project) is a novelty with an additional nutritional value, explained by the women to other women and men of the village. The more frequent use of fruits and vegetables in the making of the dishes is another goal of the activity, in order to promote the presence of vitamins in everyday life.

After the presentation of the 3 dishes, the public has the chance to taste the improved recipes and share their impressions with the others.

The Chief of the Village closes the ceremony thanking the project on its role as a key actor in fostering good child-nutrition and promoting local development, through the school canteens.

The programme “Reinforcement of livelihoods through a pilot project to promote local production, the introduction of high nutritional-quality food and respect for the environment in school canteens”, funded by the ECOWAS and the European Union, has introduced 20 school canteens in Northern and Southern Senegal since 2016 to our days.

by Pablo Elorriaga