Best before

suMalians are not used to having stock, other than the rice and millet.
Vegetables, meat, spices and cooking oil are bought on a daily basis. Whenever there’s a bit of extra money it will lead to more ingredients or a different kind of meal for that day. It keeps the women quite busy to walk to the market and corner stores at least once a day.

How different is life in the occident. We go grocery shopping, stock up on veggies, meat and everything else. At home we have at least a corner of a cupboard filled with spices, another corner with oils and vinegars, one or more cupboards with all kinds of edibles and a fridge with fresh products.

Born and raised in Europe, living in Mali, I’m trying to find a good in between. So I do have some stock, making the shopping expeditions way more efficient and I take advantage whenever I’m in an area that offers a different range of products than I can buy in Ségou. I’m not too much using the freezer though, since power failures will spoil whatever is in it.

Visiting a supermarket in Bamako last time there led to quite a full box with perishables. Best before December 2012 most said, so, I grabbed my chance and bought a lot.

About half of it has been eaten by humans. The rest, I found out yesterday, has been eaten by maggots. That I had stored all the bags in a metal case had clearly not been sufficient.
Earlier this year the heat had spoilt several jars of jam as well as all stock of perishable cheese spread.

I’ve learned!
Best before has a different meaning in Mali.
It’s best before the hot season starts and best before the maggots have discovered it.

About MoInMali

Monique is the founder of Papillon Reizen, a Mali based travel agency specialized in inspiring journeys in Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. Fair-trade and with a heart for people, environment and culture. Small-scale group journeys as well as family trips and journeys tailored to your wishes. We love to share West Africa's beauty with you and take you on a journey to experience rather than to see. Monique lives in Mali with her Malian partner and shares some of her daily life experiences with you through this blog. For information on Papillon Reizen:
This entry was posted in Culture, Food, Mali, Money, Needs, Season, Time, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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