French, Wolof in Senegal

Food Shopping

Pots and bowls of various foods

The supermarket is where Senegalese shop for items such as milk, snack food, canned and frozen foods, condiments, cleansers, wrapping materials, and soap.

The open market is a designated area of town where each day, vendors set up informally to sell their wares. This is convenient since many ingredients of Senegalese cuisine must be purchased fresh each day. One can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, meat, chicken, fish, and a special section for flowers. Vendors of traditional Senegalese fabric set up alongside tailors who will take measurements on-site for traditional garments. Vendors sell both pre-fabricated shoes, and in addition, take measurements for hand-crafted shoes. It is important to know that all prices should be bartered.

It is not uncommon for vendors to set up a table in front of their homes. A family with a cow might sell milk each morning in front of the house, or there may be a particular house that sells the best version of a particular herb or spice needed for the luncheon meal. Visiting these different vendors becomes a part of the morning chores.

The influence of the French is vivid insofar as the boulangerie, or bakery, is an integral part of daily life in Senegal. Bread is generally baked fresh two or three times per day. Each morning, one of the children of every household is sent to purchase loaves of fresh bread for breakfast.

Boutiques are the Senegalese equivalent of convenience stores and are found on every street corner. They are small shops that sell staples such as butter, milk, or tomato paste. Essential products such as peanut oil and sugar are sold in bulk. Even as they sell some items in bulk, it is also possible to buy as little as a single slice of butter at a boutique.

Since Senegal is predominantly Muslim, there are no stores where alcoholic beverages are sold. For an alcoholic drink, one would go to a club.