I come from a Fulani tribe in West Africa, which is a herding and nomadic culture so my ancestors consumed a lot of cow’s milk. In school, I learned that one day, my ancestors decided to look for a compliment to make the milk more appetizing. They had the idea of taking the corn powder and vaporizing it. Then, the corn powder is mixed with the milk. After that, they added sugar on top and they found it to be really delicious. Since that time, this dish has become a cultural dish for my people I remember when my mom cooked it for the first time. The corn kernels are first crushed to make the flour. Then it’s finely sifted. Next, it is important to steam the cornflour with a clean cloth. In years before now, our grandmothers in the villages prepared it in terracotta canaries. Our generation is resorting to more technical tools.
In the Bronx, last Eid, my mom and I decided to cook Latchiri Kossan to remember the smell of our country through this traditional dish. Every time we cooked it. The smell took me back to my country Guinea. When I go to weddings here and eat this delicious dish, I feel like I am home and I’m happy. Latchiri Kossan smells like home to me. But that’s not all. Along with the Latchiri Kossan, there is always traditional music and dance. Latchirin Kossan without dance and music is like Thanksgiving without turkey.
In my community, Latchiri Kossan represents a sign of respect and consideration. The honor of being served to this particular dish shows how important you are to the person. For the reason that it’s a long and difficult process to make. At ceremonies or events, everyone asked about the dish. It’s the dish of the day.