I can honestly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that prior to this cooking challenge (well, this year’s stage) I had NEVER heard of São Tomé and Príncipe. If somebody had asked me who/what it/they was, I would likely have said that they were two Brazilian footballers, or characters in an obscure play – but never a country. I can bet that there are many people who are in my boat (maybe not with what they thought it was, but that they had never heard of it). So São Tomé and Príncipe is a little island country off the west coast of Central Africa, 250km to the northwest of Gabon to be more precise. It is a Portuguese speaking nation (which is perhaps where my idea of it being the name of two Brazilian footballers is not an enormous stretch) and is made up of two main islands – you guessed it, São Tomé and Príncipe (they’re two separate entities, not one name!)
The islands are home to some endemic birds, and the São Tomé Shrew, but few mammals. They are home to the world’s smallest Ibis (The São Tomé Ibis) and the world’s largest sunbird (The giant sunbird), as well as several giant species of Begonia. Seriously, how does such a little place have so many giant species?
Amongst other dishes, omelettes are quite popular in São Tomé and Príncipe. The recipe for the dish I cooked can be found here, courtesy of my friends at Global Table Adventure. It’s a frittata, which is, in my opinion, not far off an omelette (so I feel convicted that I’ve cooked something uniquely and traditionally from São Tomé and Príncipe – I’m copying and pasting this every time I write it BTW).
The verdict? I was apprehensive. The picture in the recipe looks pretty awesome, but in South Africa our sweet potatoes are pale, and not orange. I was worried it would look gross and not taste great. It’s interesting though, because the recipe is very simple, and the flavours almost bland on their own, yet it was absolutely delicious. Quite more-ish to be honest (although I held back, froze slices, and eat them every now and then instead). It’s a healthy breakfast or lunch option, and is pretty low carb, as sweet potatoes are allowed on those kinds of diets. It was quick to make, and would be delicious served with a side salad of sorts for a lunch. A repeat cook? Yes indeed.