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"Those who have had the privilege of travelling to our two continents have been struck by the vast diversity that can be observed in the culture and ways of living within Africa and Europe. This diversity is a source of richness. Without it, as human beings our lives would be significantly limited, less meaningful. Those who are engaged daily in the relationship between Africa and Europe see diversity as an attraction, not a challenge. It is our profound belief that diversity is something to celebrate and to build on, and it drives our commitment to this relationship.
Culture in general and food in particular are essential elements of this diversity. When we travel, whether for leisure or business, most of us are keen to experience the local food and restaurants. If we did not it would almost feel as if our visit never happened. Food also has a unique ability to connect people, to make them feel closer. Complex negotiations and business deals always include a meal. It is on these occasions that trust, friendship and understanding are established. This applies also in our day to day work with our African friends and colleagues from the African Union. A relationship, to be sustainable and productive, requires enjoyment and appreciation of each other's culture including food.
This is the reason for this cookbook. This volume is a celebration of what unites all of us, from Lapland to Cape Agulhas: the necessity and the pleasure of food. Food as an expression of our cultural identities and as the epicentre of our social lives.
To prepare this cookbook we have reached out to AU and EU Commissioners, AU and EU Member State Ambassadors and other colleagues involved in building the Europe-Africa relationship, based both in Addis Ababa and across Africa.
The contributions we have received are compiled on the pages that follow."
EU Ambassador to the African Union
With a diversity of cuisines comes also a diversity of ingredients that you may never have heard of. Take it as an opportunity to discover them; or simply be creative in identifying alternatives. We look forward to seeing pictures of your creations on social media – tag us @EUtoAU !