Combining African cooking traditions with Milwaukee's local food movement is Yollande Deacon's mission.
Deacon is the owner of the Wauwatosa-based company, Afro Fusion Cuisine. She wants to introduce Milwaukee tongues to the flavors of her native country, Cameroon.
Lake Effect interviewed Deacon last year when her line of products included only spices. Her spices were sold at organic grocery stores, like Outpost Natural Food and Waukesha’s Good Harvest Market, and at farmers markets.
But once she started talking with people at the farmers markets, she learned that many people didn't know how to use the spices in dishes because they weren't familiar with African cuisine. They were looking for an easier way to be introduced to African flavors. One customer told Deacon that she should market her sauces.
Deacon ran with that idea, and this year has been working with local organic farmers to create spices and ready-made sauces that replicate traditional African flavors.
Deacon says her sauces help Wisconsinites learn the cuisines of Africa in a way that is non-threatening, accessible and relatable through food that people can identify with, but with flavors that are surprising.
A few recipes that include Afro-Fusion Cuisine spices are featured above in the slideshow.