Tomatoes! Tomatoes!! Tomatoes!!!
As any good cook will tell you, “the taste of a sauce tells how good the cook is”, the hunt to make the ultimate west African stew THE premier tomato stew is one that has been pursued by the most ardent of cooks. From the composition of the tomato, pepper, onion trio to the quantity and quality of the spice mix used, home cooks for years have been baffled. For most, making a good pot of stew is a miss or hit proposition as the art itself is not standardized. I, myself have and continue to search for the best recipe for the ultimate tomato stew and what I know for sure is the quality of your ingredients is all the difference between a ho-hum stew and a “kick in the pants” stew. The primary ingredient to consider is the tomato.Tomatoes being one of the cornerstones of African cuisine is available in different varieties and has different flavor profiles. These are the kinds of tomatoes one is likely to find in Africa
- Roma Tomato: Probably the most widely available in Africa. The African variety is smaller than it’s western counterpart and has a highly acidic flavor.
Cherry tomatoes: available all over Africa, particularly in East and South Africa. Good in salad, strong tomato flavor.
Heirloom Tomatoes: Also referred to as the “ugly” tomato. Has great medium acidic taste but tends to sour quickly when used in stews.