March 20, 2013

Enjoy food with art at new 'Edible Exhibition' in Portland

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

Some say food is art.

Each dinner in the series at the Museum of African Art and Culture will be “dedicated to a particular saint or spirit.”

Courtesy photo

Now you can enjoy both at the same time at the new "Edible Exhibition" at the Museum of African Art and Culture, 13 Brown St., Portland.

The Edible Exhibition is a series of dinners for eight to 20 people that feature traditional dishes from different regions connected to the current art exhibition. According to the museum, each dinner "will be dedicated to a particular saint or spirit."

At Thursday's dinner, the menu will include egusi soup with fou-fou (pounded yam), a combination of dishes popular in three Nigerian cultures – the Igbos, Yorubas and the Housa, according to Oscar Mokeme, the museum's director.

Egusi, he said, is a melon crop honoring the powers of women in these cultures.

The dishes will be served with dry fish, lots of vegetables, and some goat meat for guests who aren't vegetarian, Mokeme said.

For dessert, there will be mou-mou, a bean cake served with tomato stew.

The dishes will be presented authentically, as they are in their native cultures.

And which saint or spirit will be honored? The month of March is dedicated to all female saints, spirits and female deities, according to Mokeme, so the dinner will honor Ala, the Earth goddess, and Oshun, the goddess of the ocean. Images of these "Mother Earth" goddesses and female saints and spirits will be represented in the exhibition.

The Edible Exhibition dinners, which cost $50 per person, also include a showing of an original documentary film. On Thursday, the film will be "Good Mother," a true story of how a mother struggled to put her children through school.

The next dinner will be held on March 28.

For reservations, call 871-7188.


Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

Twitter: MeredithGoad


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