Gabon: Introduction to Mezana, a taro puree from the Ogooué-Ivindo province

Gabon: Introduction to Mezana, a taro puree from the Ogooué-Ivindo province

#Gabon : The G6 Devoted Women’s Association Seasonal Market (sign of the province of Ogooue-Ivindo, 6th region of Gabon) has just set up camp in Libreville. This annual meeting, which aims to promote the cultural values ​​of the area, leaves behind wonderful memories.

Under the stalls that fought back, Ogooué-Ivindo culinary delicacies were the most popular. This is a case of mezana, a kind of mashed taro tubers cooked over a wood fire.

Taro is a popular root crop on the African continent. Its mode of consumption undoubtedly varies by country and circumstance. In the northeastern part of Gabon, among the Tusk peoples, this dish, cleaned, washed and cooked over low heat, can serve as an accompaniment to any meal. It can also be mashed and served with shellfish or smoked fish. This is an economical and satisfying recipe, as one of its specialists, Marie Rose Melig Me Ngwa, explained to us.

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“First, when I came, so as not to waste time, I cut taro. I cleaned, cut and washed them. I already had smoked fish. I set it on fire. I started by adding onions. I added butter, garlic and taro. But first I let the taro fry. After I put in the water, and when I did, I put in some pepper. This is a typical Ogiwin dish (from Ogowe Ivindo). Because I’ve been traveling and I’ve never seen this done anywhere else. Elsewhere, sweet potato puree is prepared with added sugar. However, my dish is salty, and I added a peanut leg,” she explains to a group of young girls who have already won over with this recipe.

A few steps away from where Marie Rose finishes preparing her mythical mezana dish, the stadium for tasters gradually fills up to move on to the table.

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“The recipe is delicious. All ingredients are there. Moreover, there are vitamins that help restore some of the dead cells in our body. I used to eat it in my youth and still cook it when I had little time, especially on Sundays,” admits Jeannine Nse, taster.

Note that most provinces in Gabon have cuisines that they are known for. But thanks to its cosmopolitan character, Ogooué Ivindo offers a wide range of choices and you will be spoiled for choice.

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