A native of Cameroon, LaFortune Jeannette Djabea opened Mola Foods in Nashua to share African cuisine and culture, an intention that also informs her launch of Taste of Africa events this spring. Often featuring live music, Taste of Africa events provide guests with the opportunity to sample flavors from across the continent through both vegan and meat dishes that are paired with wine.
According to Djabea, the response has been “remarkable,” a reaction she believes partly results from a misunderstanding of Africa itself. “Many have a misconception about Africa and believe that what they see portrayed in the media is Africa,” she explained. “It is not Africa. Like with any kind of media, social or other forms, the images that people see are often used to achieve objectives that are not meant to educate, but advance existing narratives that are not true.”
In Mola Foods and now Taste of Africa, Djabea said she seeks to welcome people to Africa through its cuisine. She said one way to do this is to introduce people to spices and seasonings that produce African flavors. “You don’t have to cook differently,” she said. “All you need are spices, and you can experience African flavors with dishes you already know how to cook.”
The next Taste of Africa takes place on Friday, July 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person. To purchase tickets, visit molafoods.com/africa4. Located at 9 Simon St., Nashua, Mola Foods is a vibrantly colored space with seating for 40+ and features dine-in, takeout service, meal plans, and digital storefront with many products also available at area retail outlets.