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Liberians drop rice for spaghetti

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Liberians drop rice for spaghetti

Post by shammy on Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:15 am

Standing behind the wooden counter of his roadside restaurant, Emmanuel Biddle heaps piles of Liberian-style bolognese onto the plates of customers.

When the Liberian chef first added pasta to the menu of his traditional chop house, he didn't expect much success.

But as surging rice prices threaten to halt progress in fragile countries like Liberia, local people are changing life-long habits and switching to cheaper staple foods such as spaghetti.

Liberia imports 90% of its rice from Asia and the US.

In the last six months, the price has more than doubled, making it unaffordable for many ordinary Liberians.

Spicy spaghetti

Spaghetti shacks like Mr Biddle's are springing up in the Paynesville district of Monrovia, a working-class neighbourhood rarely visited by expatriates.

"To encourage customers, I prepare my spaghetti the Liberian way, with lots of African [chilli] pepper. I cut the spaghetti in two to make it easy for my customers to eat" he says.


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