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Kitchen Connection Goes to: Senegal!

Kitchen Connection Goes to: Senegal!


Aerial view of Dakar

By derejeb

Official Name: Republic of Senegal

Capital: Dakar

Official Language(s): French, Wolof

National Dish(es): Thiebou Jen


Tasty African food: Chicken Yassa with onions and couscous close up on a plate. horizontal

By FomaA

Fun Facts: The “madd” fruit is native to Senegal and sells well in the international market. Have your full share if you ever land at Senegal.


Peanut and squash soup

By Melastmohican

"Insider Foodage"

*Country:  Senegal

*Continent:  Africa


*Largest City (ies):  Dakar

*Culinary travel destination(s):   

*Primary Language(s):   French, Wolof

*%Urban to Rural:  47.2%

*Primary Agricultural Exports: 

*Population: 15,020,945

*Food expenditure for one week:  $70.77

*Caloric intake available daily per person:  2,320 kcal

*Alcohol consumption per capita: .70 liters

*Obese population: 8.8%

*Big Mac Price:  $1.19

*Meat consumption per person per year: 15.8 kg

*Prevalence of Hunger:  18.4

*Culture:  Senegalese Society & Culture

Tribal and Ethnic Diversity 

Although there are over ten ethnic groups in Senegal, five are predominant. The largest group is the Wolof who cluster in the northwest and centre of the country. The Hal Pularen group reside along the middle valley of the Senegal River, the upper valley of the Casamance River, and in the centre. The Joola live mainly in the lower Casamance valley. The Manding live in the middle Casamance valley. There is a small Lebanese minority who are generally merchants.

The vast majority of the population is Muslim, with small minorities following animist beliefs or Roman Catholicism or other Christian faiths. Many combine a formal religion with animist beliefs, practices, and ceremonies.


Religion plays a pivotal role in the Senegalese culture. Most people are religious in their own way and can sometimes be suspicious of people who do not practice any religion.

Freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitution. Senegal is therefore open to various religions and the various religious groups coexist in relative harmony. Although the majority of the population are Muslims, they often incorporate animist beliefs and practices into their religious practices as do the Christian minorities. Interfaith marriage is common as is the practice of having different members of the family following different faiths.


Animism is based on the belief that natural objects and idols or fetishes have magical power. Many Senegalese, whatever their religious adherence, to some extent believe in supernatural forces and that certain people, primarily doctors, herbalists, diviners, or marabouts (religious figures) have the power to utilise these forces. It is common to see people wearing amulets (called “gris-gris”) around their waist, neck, arms, or legs.

People consult with diviners or marabouts to protect themselves against evil spirits, to improve their financial status or bring them love, to cure chronic illnesses, to settle disputes, or to place a curse on another person.

*National Dish (es):  Thiebou jen

*National Drink(s):  Bissap ,Café Touba (the national drink of home-roasted coffee mixed with fresh cloves)

*Major Holidays/Special Holiday Foods: 

*Main religions: Muslim, ,Sunni of Maliki school of jurisprudence with Sufi influences



*Banquet (party) dishes: Accara (Black-Eyed Pea Fritters)

  • Thieboudienne (Senegalese Fish and Rice)
  • Mafe Ginaar (Peanut and Chicken Stew)
  • Saladu Nebbe (Black-Eyed Pea Salad)
  • Saladu Awooka ak Mango (Avocado and Mango Salad)
  • Sosu Kaani (Habanero Chile Sauce)
  • Sombi (Coconut Rice Pudding)

*Indigenous communities and their dishes: 38.7 percent of the population were estimated to be Wolof; 26.5 percent Pular/Peuhl; 15 percent Serer; 4.2 percent Mandinka; 4 percent Diola/Jola; 2.3 percent Soninke; and 9.3 percent other (including Europeans and people of Lebanese descent).

*Native species: Mammals

Senegal supports a diverse spectrum of mammals, though many are heavily threatened by habitat loss, overhunting, and other human-related onslaughts. Large ungulates (hoofed mammals) include buffalo, elephant, eland, giraffe, hippopotamus, warthogs and a variety of gazelles. The largest carnivore is the African lion, a heavy-bodied, virile cat that hunts savannas and open woodlands, falling prey as big as giraffe and young elephants. The smaller, solitary leopard is more elusive. One of Africa’s rarest -- and most efficient -- predators, the painted hunting dog, persists in southeastern Senegal. Chimpanzees roam Mount Assirik in Niokolo-Koba National Park, while baboons, colobus, guenons, and mangabeys are among the other indigenous primates. The West African manatee, an herbivorous marine mammal, ranges the Senegalese coast, lagoons and lower riverways.


Anywhere you have such a diversity of habitats as Senegal, you’ll have a great variety of birds. The coast and nearshore islands support seabirds such as red-billed tropicbirds and bridled terns. Flycatchers, sunbirds and many other small, brightly colored and highly vocal songbirds inhabit the country’s woodlands and riverine forests. Waterfowl and wading birds such as the magnificent crowned crane and saddle-billed stork rely on fertile wetlands. The savannas and grasslands are stalked by the marabou stork and coursed over by the martial eagle.


Senegal’s nearshore waters support green and hawksbill sea turtles, while the Bell’s hinged tortoise roams inland scrub. The country has an impressive roster of venomous snakes, including the black mamba, black-necked spitting cobra, and Boomslang, as well as plenty of nonvenomous species; biggest of all is the African rock python, which may exceed 20 feet in length. Senegal hosts all three of Africa’s crocodile species: the massive Nile crocodile, one of the world’s largest reptiles, as well as two more modestly sized kinds, the long-snouted and African dwarf crocodiles. The heftiest lizards are the Nile and savanna monitors, both of which are formidable omnivores.

*SDGs that are especially prevalent in the respective country:


Tags : Kitchen Connection Senegal Featured Country Wolof Food Travel

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