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Melegueta Coast

Melegueta pepper pods with grains inside.

Melegueta pepper pods with the grains inside.

In old maps or books, Liberia is often referred to as the “Grain Coast” or “Pepper Coast” by the British or the “Melegueta Coast” by the Portuguese.  This name comes from the melegueta pepper plant, which is indigenous to the swamps along the West African coast and is abundantly available.

Its flowering pods produce red-brown seeds with a peppery taste, known as “African pepper” or “grains of paradise.” It is botanically unrelated to the true pepper plant, but can be used as a substitute for black pepper. The melegueta pepper grains were transported from West Africa to Europe by ship, and to North Africa by camel caravan across the Sahara.

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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.

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