Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Kitchens of Africa is a U.S. company, but our roots extend all the way to The Gambia, a tiny country in the western part of Africa, where our founder, Jainaba Jeng was born and raised. After receiving a degree in International Relations from a university in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she found she was unable to return home due to a recent military coup and immigrated to the U.S.
Once here, Jainaba found great pleasure in sampling the cuisines of other countries. She learned to cook them at home and soon discovered preparation shortcuts. She could pick up a half-prepared meal such as a sauce, bring it home, add a few ingredients and voila, Indian, Thai or Mexican delights.
However, no matter how much she enjoyed these new cuisines, Jainaba always yearned for the comforting tastes of her native African food. The problem was satisfying her craving meant cooking everything from scratch. It was easily a full day's commitment to make a single meal.
Since other ethnic cuisines could be easily prepared at home using convenience foods, Jainaba wondered, why not African? From this simple question, Kitchens of Africa was born. With Jainaba leading the way, the company sought to introduce a line of flavorful African-inspired convenience foods.
"At Kitchens of Africa, we aim to remove the apprehension associated with cooking African foods," explains Jainaba. "By using our simmer sauces and jerk pastes, African cuisine can be easily prepared at home with fantastic results over and over again. Our products eliminate the endless ingredient sourcing, lengthy prep work and countless hours of slow cooking. What once would have taken you hours to make, can now be on your dinner table in minutes."
Kitchens of Africa is committed to producing high quality products based on authentic African-style cooking methods while keeping pace with current consumer trends and flavors. We use ingredients that are as close to nature as possible. You won't find preservatives, additives, thickeners, colorings, fillers or anything artificial. The organic, natural and slow-foods movement that is gaining huge popularity in the Western world has always been a way of life for Africans.
"We prefer freshly crushed garlic to garlic powder and swear by fresh ginger root as a natural flavor enhancer. We go the extra mile because this is the way we were taught by our ancestors. We don't know any shortcuts, nor would we have it any other way," Jainaba says.
So stick out your plates and prepare to take your taste buds for an African safari. Allow us to serve you generous helpings from a continent full of exciting flavors that we hope will have you coming back to Kitchens of Africa for seconds and thirds.
Ufurahie chakula chako! That's Swahili for "Enjoy your meal!"
Products offered through Papa Spud's:
Sauce, Maffe, Peanut simmer sauce | Sauce, Yassa, Onion simmer sauce |