Sunday, 5 August 2012

Olympic Food Challenge: Abacate Com Atum - Guinea Bissau

What a weekend it's been.  Personally, I missed most of the sporting action because I was too busy enjoying myself in the bosom (not quite literally) of my extended family as we celebrated two birthdays and a wedding.  And with a huge haul of medals, Britain has literally become Great once more.  I've never been prouder to be British.  I was even pleased that dour old Andy Murray won.  Didn't get to see the final so I don't know if he actually cracked a smile, but I'm sure he deserved it.

Elegantly (not!) served in an avocado shell
As for Guinea Bissau, they have sent just four athletes to London to compete in two disciplines.  Much as I love that Team GB (the real Team GB!) are pocketing medals left, right and centre, I do still believe that it's the taking part that counts and the Bissau-Guineans should be just as proud of their competitors as we are of ours.

Known for its political instability - no elected president has served a full five year term - Guinea Bissau is situated on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Senegal and Guinea.  The official language is Portugese, although this is only spoken by 14% of the population with the rest speaking either Kriol (a Portugese version of Creole) or native African languages.  Having been colonised by the Portugese from the 16th century onwards, the cuisine still retains a huge Portugese influence.

One of the biggest problems I encountered when researching a recipe for today's post was finding something that is definitely from Guinea Bissau.  There are few recipes available online and those that are generally indicate that they're actually a Portugese recipe with no real confirmation that you would find the meal served in Guinea Bissau.

In the end, I settled for an avocado and tuna dish - mostly because I had all the ingredients to hand (I bought a huge pack of avocados last week and wanted to use the last one up).  Although not very photogenic - my food styling skills remain terrible - I did actually enjoy this dish.  I was unconvinced at the start because I thought it was trying to be a fancy prawn cocktail - minus prawns, obviously - but the addition of coconut worked really well and gave it a lovely tropical twist.
Guinea Bissau Flag

As I don't have evaporated milk and didn't want to waste a whole can on a single recipe, I used some Greek yogurt instead.  I also used grated creamed coconut rather than fresh.  I've already had one injury (burnt hand) during the Olympic Food Challenge, I didn't fancy another (hammered hand) by trying to crack open a coconut.

You can find the recipe here.  Definitely worth a try as an alternative dinner party starter.

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