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RI African Alliance Shows Off Regional Cuisine In Pawtucket

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African cuisine will be on display in Pawtucket Saturday. The African Alliance of Rhode Island plans to present a public cooking demonstration. The...

African cuisine will be on display in Pawtucket Saturday. The African Alliance of Rhode Island plans to present a public cooking demonstration.

The group maintains a network of community gardens, dedicated to native produce from Africa. These are fruits and vegetables you won’t find at the local grocery store, like special varieties of hot peppers and a small, round vegetable called the African Garden Egg.

Alliance President Julius Kolawole said it makes a flavorful sauce.

“Garden Egg is a family of eggplant but they are very small,” said Kolawole. “ And what we have done is turn those garden eggs into relish.

Kolawale says that relish will be part of the cooking demonstration at the Pawtucket Winter Farmers Market. He said the African Alliance has been selling vegetables at the market and regularly sells out.

Kolawole said it’s one of the ways they work to preserve the cultures of Rhode Island’s large and diverse African population.

“In this small state, there are forty African countries represented, and there are about 65,000 Africans in Rhode Island.”

Cape Verdeans make up the one of the largest portion of African residents in the Ocean state. There are also significant numbers of immigrants from Liberia, Kenya, and Nigeria. The African Alliance of Rhode Island was founded in 2004.

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Members of the African Alliance of Rhode Island at a Providence farmer's market, selling native African produce
Members of the African Alliance of Rhode Island at a Providence farmer's market, selling native African produce