This particular kenkey was different from the kinds I’d had earlier in my trip but was packed with flavor. The spice of the shito added a fantastic kick of spice, and the fish had a crispy and flaky texture. It was a really nice meal!
The Fanti kenkey with the shito and the tilapia was really nice. Kenkey is a fermented corn mash that is often eaten with a spicy chili sauce called shito and a protein. Fanti kenkey is a special variation of it that’s made by the Fanti or Fante people!
We stopped and walked into the forest to a local cacao farm. There were lots of flies buzzing around the rotting cacao fruits on the ground. I took a pod from a tree and tried the seeds inside. They were slimy but tasty!
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They smelled very fermented. They dry the beans here and sell them. Then, the owner let me try some bitter cacao beans.
We hopped back in the car and drove to a small mud village that reminded me of my time in Malawi. I met the locals and tried my hand at pounding some fufu. We also saw some cute goats before we made it to where they dry the cacao beans.
As we ate, there were tons of chickens running around, as well as some dogs. It made for an even more authentic local atmosphere! After my meal, I rinsed my hand with a bag of water.
The smaller fish can be eaten whole—you just take off the head and tail. I suggest eating slowly because there are lots of sharp bones. I once got a fish bone stuck in my throat when I was younger, and I’ve been extra cautious ever since.
The tilapia here is wild, not farmed, which is why these fish are smaller. They’re very different from farmed tilapia, which can be massive. Farmed tilapia also isn’t very healthy for you, so I usually avoid it. But the wild tilapia in Ghana is amazing!
We arrived at the village of Abono on the north side of the lake. There, we bought some fried tilapia from a woman as well as some Fanti kenkey. She cleans the fish and fries them alive. Then, she makes some spicy shito by grinding peppers, tomatoes, and onions. It comes wrapped in a banana leaf.
Check out my VIDEO: Incredible African Street Food!! Eating Fufu + UNESCO Slave Castle Tour | Cape Coast, Ghana
My guide Isaac and driver Ben from Jolinaiko Eco Tours and I made our way toward Lake Bosomtwe. Lake Bosomtwe is the only natural lake in the country, and it’s located inside a meteorite crater. There are thirty villages around the lake, which is 10.5 kilometers wide. I couldn’t wait to explore this beautiful area outside of Kumasi.
After saying goodbye to the friendly locals, we continued driving. This area of the country is full of plantain and cacao farmers. They’re the main cash crops here!
The road is very winding and rough, and full of potholes. There are villages along it that serve as junctions where you’ll find restaurants and vendors selling things by the side of the road. It costs 10 cedis for foreigners to visit the lake area and 5 cedis for locals.
You can head out on a boat for 200 cedis to tour the lake, but because the visibility was so low, I didn’t think it would be worth it.
Even though the lake is beautiful, it was tough to see because the air was so dusty and overcast. A friendly local served me some local liquor at a small shop, and then I got a Club Beer. It was nice and refreshing!
Then, we left the lake area and continued driving an hour north to Kumasi. After a while, the road became unpaved and very sandy, so we rolled up the windows. The sand was billowing up into the air and made it hard to see!
Where have you been?
Finally, we reached Kumasi and grabbed some beef skewers from a street vendor for USD because I was starving! We also got two fried plantains for each.
As you approach the lake, the landscape changes. It’s very forested and the land is at a higher elevation. I couldn’t see the lake yet because of the terrain and the dusty air, which comes from winds picking up sand from the Sahara Desert further north.
With three cities down on my epic road trip through Ghana, I continued my journey from Elmina to Kumasi. Come join me as my guides and I enjoy some delicious Ghanaian street food, including tilapia and fanti kenkey, at Lake Bosomtwe and visit a cocoa farm in Ghana!
Check out my VIDEO: Traditional Ghana Street Food!! Kenkey & Fish + Jamestown Attractions | Accra, Ghana
The beef kebab was crunchy and spicy and full of flavor! It was the perfect “linner” (lunch/dinner) to have before setting out to explore Ghana’s second-largest city, Kumasi! Huge thanks to my friends Isaac and Ben from Jolinaiko Eco Tours for letting me experience the Ghana street food, including tilapia and kenkey, at Lake Bosomtwe in Ghana. You have to visit this beautiful area when you come to Ghana!