Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Asanka bowl with wooden masher
Asanka bowl with wooden masher

This object is called asanka in Twi which is one of the native languages in Ghana of the Akan region. It was brought by my mother when immigrating to New York in 1988 and is 34 years old. The asanka bowl is an essential cooking item in Ghanian traditional dishes as it is used for grinding spices, ingredients, and vegetables needed in everyday cooking such as stews, sauces, and soups. Not everything in traditional dishes can be ground in a blender and certain tools weren't around to chop and grind ingredients to desired textures for traditional dishes like the asanka can. This type of bowl is centuries old and is still commonly used today in everyday Ghanian households. It has ridges all around which is perfect to help grind peppers and spices together and is deep in size. It is a great cooking tool because you do not need electricity to prepare your food, with the asanka you grind everything manually into the bowl with the wooden masher. It is not only used for grinding and the preparation of food, it is also used to eat out of and a way of sharing food with others because of the large sizes the asanka is made in. This method of cooking is essential to our cultural dishes and without it food just wouldn't taste the same. My mother making it essential to bring asanka with her to the United States shows the importance of continuing those methods of cooking as a way of also maintaining cultural traditions.

Place(s): Ghana
Year: 1988

– Crystal Cooke

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant