Maafé Is the Versatile, Warming Stew You Should Be Making This Fall

Oct 26, 2022 · 27 comments
Southlandish (California)
Any article which begins telling me what I "should" be doing already annoys me. Then as I read about aquaponic farms in Williamsburg, wondering exactly how much per pound fish farmed in "raised tanks" in New York City must cost, why vegetables native to Africa are painstakingly grown in Brooklyn and if this experience truly gives a child any sense of how most food is actually produced, I wondered whether I was just feeling crabby this morning or if it all seemed a bit absurd and out of touch with a larger reality.
@Southlandish Maybe show the children the flight path for pallid supermarket asparagus shipped from Argentina mid-winter if you'd like to give them a sense of how we produce food. Or a drive through 5,000 head beef lots of Texas. Maybe an aerial view of the tens of thousands of acres of feed corn production in the midwest? Dragnet fishing off the coast of Alaska? That's the reality I'd like kids to push away from.
Nick (NYC)
@Southlandish I completely agree with your opinion on "should" as a way of framing an article. It's obnoxious, and it's all over the place, in this newspaper and elsewhere... what you, the reader, "should" be reading/watching/doing/etc. Maybe I'm just an annoying contrarian, but whenever I read that, my brain immediately goes "nah."
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
Stop saying "protein" when what you mean is "meat."
Erica (Minneapolis)
@John Lee Pettimore He includes tofu, which is distinctly not meat. And chicken and fish may or may not be called "meat" and might be classified separately as poultry or seafood depending where you live. The word protein here gives a bigger umbrella for all those options.
MerrKat (Best Coast USA)
@Erica the chef is female
DNALevelC (PA)
@John Lee Pettimore. "Protein" as a term has been co-opted by the food industry, I've found it to mean (apparently) something that's... chewy(?). I've encountered any number of create-it-yourself fast-food restaurants (i.e. choose your protein, choose your sides, choose your sauces) that offer a vegetarian "protein" that really has comparatively low nutitional protein (typically mushrooms). Some places offering a true "protein" source like tofu are welcomed.
Six Minutes Remaining (Middle Space)
I can understand an additional charge if people want to subscribe to the full backlog of Times recipes. But NYT, if you are going to FEATURE a recipe -- then just providing a descriptive article sans recipe is infuriating. That's building 'classism' right into the main features (ha, you're subscribed! but not subscribed 'enough'), and it's not appreciated.
polymath (British Columbia)
So true! But even this doesn't compare to the Times's clawing back my 70-80 recipes that I already had in the "Recipe Box" after they decided to install a paywall.
ad (ny)
@Six Minutes Remaining Amen! And this travesty is only one aspect of the deterioration of the NYT: too many empty words; insufficient or confusingly presented information.
DNALevelC (PA)
@Six Minutes Remaining Agreed. The NYTimes now manages to provide LESS coverage of food than ever (and than WaPo) with so much content locked behind this pay wall. I did not renew after one year, because the Food app for Android had no search feature. I would go looking for something in my Recipe Box that I vaguely remembered featuring a particular ingredient, and I would have to browse through my several hundred saved recipes to (sometimes never) find it. So... further classism: even those Android users of us, who could indulge in a Food subscription, were still left out of the party compared to the iPhone Elites.
Short Walk (New York, NY)
This is such an enjoyable piece of writing! Thank you! In ten paragraphs it fired my curiosity about so many new things. I'm excited to try making this dish, but also very excited to have discovered Yewande Komolafe's writing.
cat (here)
Delicious! Thank you writer Y. Komolafe for this discussion - loved learning of the regional interpretations of this dish. Looking forward to cooking this recipe -
Guy (Cleveland Heights, OH)
It is disingenuous to say the least, to lore readers into a food article about a wonderful looking dish, summon within us the predictable desire to make it, and then require payment of a subscription fee in order to access its recipe. It insults our intelligence and makes you, The New York Times, look like a hustler. Either clearly indicate at the beginning of the article that access to the recipe requires payment, or make the recipe free.
Gina (San Marcos)
@Guy I don't really understand why people come to the comment section and repeatedly do this. It's a business, not a charity. You already know recipes are behind a paywall and while we would all prefer everything to be free, it's just not. Pay for a subscription OR, and stay with me here, just Google it.
myname (USA)
@Guy You hit the nail on the head! NYT, thanks for whetting our appetites. Guess what? I'll just google maafé recipes now and find them on numerous free websites.
Trey P (SE VT)
WaPo gives us the featured recipe for free. You know that we’ll get the recipe elsewhere. Tsk tsk.
Cara (Maine)
Very annoying to fall, again, for this trick of the NYT where we can read the food article but not (without paying more) see the recipe. Preferring the WaPo more & more.
East Roast (Here)
@Cara I gave in. It's worth it. All the recipes I've made have been well received in my picky home. Yes, it is ridiculous and should come with our subscription, but I'll take these recipes over a streaming app anyday.
T. M. Lawrence (MA)
@Cara, agree 100%, grubby for NYT to lead to the recipe and then ask for more $$ to see it. I thought NYT was better than this.
Paul (Brooklyn)
@Cara The NY Times is the most iconic newspaper that was ever published. They are the best at it by far. However, whenever they try incremental business like most companies do like charging for recipes, buying other newspaper, mags, RE adventures they either don't do well or fail miserable. That is their track record. If you can hold out maybe they will stop charging for the recipes.
Karen (Maine)
I'm reading this early in the morning and I so wish it was ready to be burbling on my stove. Thank you for the whole wonderful evocative description of the farm and the dish.
mk (NYC)
I worked as a cook at a “new age” school with a vegetarian kitchen in the 1980’s in upstate New York. The staff always loved a simplified mafe’,as most Americans will love anything with peanut butter in the mix. That said,I am looking forward to cooking this more complex version.
can you please make the link to the recipe active?
Independent Observer (Texas)
@JA I was just about to post the same thing.
Annessey (Girl from the North Country)
@JA Click just below it under More From Yewande Komolafe Cooking Vegetable Maafe Nov.1, 2022
Lucille Hollander (Texas)
@JA The NYT recipe is behind a paywall.
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