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Five little-known vegetables that could help end hunger

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2. The Dogon Shallot: The dogon shallot is found in Dogon, the land in the Bandiagarà escarpment between Mopti and Timbuktu in Mali. Shallots (Allium cepa var. aggregatum), a relative of the onion, have long been appreciated for their unique sweet and rich flavor and are a staple ingredient for many popular dishes. The nutritional and savory part of this vegetable is the bulb which grows underground and produces leaves, flowers, and fruits above ground.

Best way to eat it: Dogon Somè is a condiment commonly used in Dogon cooking. It consists of the shallot and other local ingredients such as, gangadjou, oroupounnà, and pourkamà. The leaves, flowers, and fruit of each plant are included in a sauce that is served to flavor most meals.

The Dogon Shallot in Action: In 2009 USAID/Mali’s Integrated Initiatives for Economic Growth program (IICEM) with funds from the Global Food Security Response (GFSR) sent women from the village to a conference in Burkina Faso in order to share their experience and their shallots. The attendees at the conference enjoyed the shallots so much that the women won a first place prize of $1,700 and one woman received an order for 25 tons of her delicious shallots.

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