Foutou and Peanut Stew at Brooklyn's Abidjan
Food from the Ivory Coast is one of the city's rarer West African cuisines, with only one place in East Harlem and another in Bushwick (or maybe Bed-Stuy. Depends on how you draw the border). Named after the country's biggest city and one of the urban jewels of West Africa, Abidjan is located on Broadway right under the Kosciuszko stop on the J train.
The menu is depicted on the place mat in full color, and you'll have no trouble selecting something that looks good. One of my favorite Ivorian dishes is a thick peanut stew with plenty of bone-in chicken parts in it. Alongside is served a choice of starches, of which my fave is foutou, an exceedingly elastic mash of cassava and plantain.
To eat, nip a piece of the mash with the fingers of your right hand and dip it deeply in the stew. You can pick the chicken pieces right up and chew on them. A big spoon and butter knife are provided as utensils for those who don't like to eat with their hands.
To wash it down, get one of the intense homemade ginger drinks from the refrigerator case near the counter.
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