Who doesn’t love a little savory snack at the bottom of their drink?
I don’t think I could have chosen a more fun-sounding dish for my second breakfast in this “5 People, 5 Countries, 5 Breakfasts” series. If the name excites you, I can assure you that the multifaceted Cameroonian meal itself lives up to its expectation. The “pap” component is a smoked porridge made from fermented corn, whereas “beans” is a spicy stew, and the “puff puff” is a sweet, fried dough. Each element holds its own in this dish, and, when combined, they tie together beautifully.
This recipe is brought to us by Akom, who resides in Limbe in Cameroon. Growing up, she ate pap, puff puff, and beans on Saturday mornings and during the holidays. Whether Akom and her family members needed energy for chores, hard work, or a long day of fun, festive activities, they could always rely on this dish. Now, Akom associates pap, puff puff, and beans with laughter, mornings, family, and friendship, and I believe this comfort dish is sure to evoke similar feelings of comfort should you venture out and try it!
Also known as “achombo and pap” or “achombo” throughout surrounding regions, this delicious, affordable, and filling dish contains contrasting yet complementary flavors which appeal to many. Although Cameroon is an immensely diverse country, pap, puff puff, and beans is enjoyed by all people throughout. Many people find the sale of just this dish to be a reliable livelihood in Cameroon.
The pap possesses a milder taste from the corn flavor than its rival element; beans is made from frying either boiled black beans or real kidney beans with any spicy vegetable of your choice, so it definitely has more of a kick. However, the light, fluffy puff puff is sweet and able to be combined with both the pap and beans in a delectably balanced bite.
I do want to note that the pap has a sweet and sour flavor and a pudding-like texture that is unlike anything else I’ve eaten! In addition, the beans component is very spicy at first but becomes easier to manage as you continue eating. Consuming pap, puff puff, and beans is an experience you should embrace. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Cameroonian food is often overlooked in the U.S. and other regions, so I think it would be a beautiful addition to the rotation. If you start with pap, puff puff, and beans, you’re bound to fall in love with Cameroonian cuisine.
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