Well....It has been a crazy few weeks. Like everyone the feelings of anger, frustration and exhaustion have been a reoccurring theme here. The truth is that dealing with the trauma of racism takes a toll on one's mental health. Seeking joy and/or comfort can be challenging, but it is necessary. Here at Mezam, we have looked for the things that bring us joy. One of these joys is food! This blog is dedicated to the businesses, blogs and influencers who satisfy our hunger. Here are the women, men and businesses celebrating the flavors of the African diaspora.
Originally from Ghana, Essie Bartels is the creator of Essie Spice. The small-batch operation sells signature sauces and West African inspired spice blends. Essie's packaging is just as appealing as the flavors in her products. We can attest to the fact that the Mekko Dry Rub is excellent on plantains and sweet potatoes.
All I Do Is Cook is a Nigerian food company founded by Chef Tobi Smith. We first discovered this company when Chef Kwame Onwuachi, owner of Washington, DC restaurant Kith and Kin
posted about it on Instagram. Based in Houston, Chef Smith ships Nigerian delicacies like Egusi Soup, Goat stew, meat pies and jollof rice anywhere in the United States.
If I am looking for a Cameroonian recipe and my mom or aunties are unavailable, www.preciouscore.com is my first stop. Unlike family members, Precious has measurements and easy to follow recipes. What is great about this website is the global variety of dishes on this site. Precious' recipes range from egusi pudding to chicken in white sauce...proving that we always have to do more...
Fit Men Cook
Kevin Curry is the creator of Fitmencook.com which highlights Latin American food. His book, Instagram videos and spices make healthy cooking much more flavorful. Curry's online presence highlights his experience in Latin America by his Spanish skills and the healthy Latin inspired food he cooks. If you are looking to create a weekly meal plan definitely visit his website.
The word "Basbaas" is Somali for chili. Hawa Hassan migrated to the United States after escaping Somalia's civil war. After a career as a fashion model Hassan discovered her love of cooking with her mother. Her hot sauces are built on East African spices such as turmeric, Cardamon, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. All Basbaas sauces are natural, vegan and gluten-free.
Three women, Maame Boakye, Nana Ama Afari-Dwamena, and Nina Oduro created Dine Diaspora to "connect people and brands to the global influence of African food culture." This event driven organization hosts various event that show case chefs and various African food experiences. Based in Washington, DC, Dine Diaspora showcases the value and creativity African food culture brings to society.
Hopefully this list helps you find ways of celebrating and supporting black culture and small businesses. Pick one or all of these small business to explore the cuisines of the African diaspora. Also look for local minority owned restaurants and food companies where ever you are.
Peace and love,
P.S. Who is your favorite foodie?