Cooking with Taste of Africa

Emily Chappell and Clementine Sandison from Open Jar Collective are working on a zine to document some of the incredible recipes and stories behind the food that will be served at The Empire Cafe.

The Empire Café is an exploration of Scotland’s relationship with the North Atlantic slave trade through coffee, sugar, tea, cotton, music, visual art, academic lectures, poetry, debate, workshops, historical walks, film and literature. The café will be based in the Briggait (home of the Merchant’s Steeple) in Glasgow’s Merchant City from 24th July – 1st August 2014.

Clem has developed the food outreach programme and is working with Cafe Operator McCune Smith and five social enterprises from across the city to develop a unique menu for the cafe which will change on a daily basis.  The menu will reflect the diverse cultural heritages of people living in Glasgow, explore Scotland’s trade history, and showcase the best local produce as well as fairly traded goods from around the World.

On Monday Taste of Africa did a test run of dishes from Algeria, Gambia and Nigeria for their menu which will be served at The Empire Cafe on Friday 1st August.  This included a Gambian ‘Scotch egg’ made with minced lamb.

Gambia was a British colony from 1888 – 1965.  Interestingly, The Colonial Development Corporation (established in 1948) set up the Gambia Poultry Scheme which was intended to produce 20 million eggs for the British market.  This export scheme was a spectacular failure.

It has left us wondering if there is any connection between this traditional Gambian egg dish and the British equivalent.  Does the ‘Scotch egg’ originate in Scotland or is it more closely related to the Indian kofta?  If anyone knows the story behind it, then please let us know!

Photographs by Clementine Sandison


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