Growing up in Toronto, I remember our picnics being communal events.
We had church picnics and the Toronto Ghanaian community picnics at Rowntree Park, close to Finch and Islington. As a teenager then, the Ghanaian community picnics were so fun because that’s where you saw your uncles, aunties, cousins, and practically almost everyone in the Ghanaian community in Toronto.
All kinds of our foods were present, alive, and thriving… all flavours, tastes, textures, colors, and every auntie brought their best food forward. You could eat different flavors of Jollof, Waakye, Stews, and Soups. What I loved most was how the aunties would bring their traditional cookware to the park, set up the yams and green plantain, they would peel the skin off, cook these delicious root vegetables, and then proceed to pound them for fufu right there and then. Talk about eating authentically.
There was no way you would leave this picnic and not get a taste of Ghana! Some of our aunties and uncles would go as far as bringing a portable small stove or setting up a space with firewood to fry yams, plantains, and etc. Honestly, the best of Ghanaian food came through. What I remember is seeing the laughter of our parents, the jokes of our aunties and uncles, the joy of our community, and the shenanigans of the youth, but what I see looking back now, is how we were telling our own stories with those picnics as Ghanaians.
We were telling the stories of our migration to Canada, of our work, our labour, religion, survival, culture, food, and possibilities.
Over the last few years, I’ve focused on bringing authentic ingredients from Africa to North America in the tradition of countless picnic aunties through my company, AddaBlooms.
With a focus on ancestral ingredients, we work hard to develop products that are storehouses of flavour, nutrients, and antioxidants.
Each of our blends, juices, and bites will excite your tastebuds and improve your livelihood. One of my favourite items in the shop is Tigernut powder, a versatile nut grain that I use in my Walnut Tigernut Bread.
I haven’t taken it to a picnic yet, but one day I will, just to start a new tradition of my own.