In another happy happenstance this post came to be just the other morning. The food for today is something my Aunt makes every evening and therefore has until now been frustratingly out of reach for a blog post – lack of sunlight makes for bad pictures!
But for whatever reason she made it in the morning just yesterday so I jumped on the chance to document the process. And I’m so glad she did – I love this stuff!
So this is all about gateau gerte – gateau is sweet or cake in French and gerte is peanut in Wolof. This delectable food item is a snack that my Aunt makes to sell at the local school for their snack time.
Pretty much every school here, at least elementary and middle schools, do this – women come and set up little tables with homemade snacks. These noshes range from frozen juice popsicle-like things to little baggies of popcorn to fattaya to shrimp-flavored fried puffy crackers (kinda odd things but oddly tasty).
My Aunt sells quite a lot of items but my favorite by far is this gateau gerte. She makes it by cooking sugar until it’s bubbly and dark golden brown. Then she dumps in ground peanuts and quickly stirs to combine them. Next she rolls this hot sugar/peanut paste out on an oiled board into a thin layer and cuts that into narrow strips. These dry and harden to become a wonderfully crackly, crunchy sweet. Almost like peanut brittle but it’s all one uniform texture.
Here is the process in pictures (as much as I could get before running off to my garden training!)
Peanuts are a big part of Senegalese agriculture and food culture. Peanuts are sold everywhere on the street, raw or hot out of the roasting sand, made into peanut butter that is used in mafe, and ground into a coarse powder for some rice dishes and sweets.
And the rolling begins!
As with all Senegalese cooking I’ve experienced thus far there are no strict measurements, my Aunt always throws in a few handfuls of ground peanuts until it feels right!
As always, thanks for reading!