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