Souvenirs from Benin
Exotic souvenirs from the Republic of Benin are the perfect way to remember your vacation. Beautiful tribal craftwork, such as carved masks, statues and chairs, jewelry cast from precious and base metals, or woven baskets to store trinkets in, can provoke memories and feelings of the time spent in the Beninese countryside. Tooled leather items, like journals, bags, and cases, are practical gifts, and a lovely patterned vase or bowl made by artisan potters will delight any recipient. Hand-woven textiles can be turned into table coverings, draperies and wall hangings, or can be made into clothing to be worn on your return home. Swords, drums, bows and ceremonial idols can be distinctive additions to the office, just as a carved horn will liven up a classroom. Picture postcards of your favorite landmarks, figural key chains of wild animals, colorful slogan T-shirts and funny refrigerator magnets are also great Beninois souvenirs.
Dining in Benin
The backbone of Beninese cuisine is the fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the region's rich soil, and delightful sauces that highlight local spices and flavors. Corn is used in a variety of applications, including being ground into flour for dough that can be boiled or sauteed, or used as a coating for fried fish. Yams and plantains are served fried, to be dipped in sauces, or as a carrier for a meat based gravy. Many meals will also include couscous, rice and beans, with vegetables like tomatoes, avocadoes and palm roots. Wagasi cheese is also used in many dishes, as a binder and additional form of protein. Be on the lookout for Acaraje, a fried meal of black-eyed peas, which is a specialty of this part of Africa. Sweet treats include kiwis, pineapples, mandarin oranges and mangos served in different ways, washed down with Sodabi, a wine palm liquor.