What is Shito?
Spoken mainly in the southwestern coastal region of my beautiful Ghana, “shito” translates to “pepper” in the Ga language.
Gloria’s Shito is a beautifully crafted and time intensive condiment, made by the careful selection and blending of hot peppers, ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes (and often fish) to capture a bloom of umami & spice; richly elevating a large variety of international cuisines.
Shito; Ghana's beloved traditional condiment. After moving to Scotland and finally the United States as a teenager, I often found myself missing the dynamic flavors of Ghana's most sought-after street condiment. As a child (and long before street vendors were the hipster fast-food of choice), I'd often roam the outskirts of Accra with my school mates, pooling together what little change we may have had in order to share and enjoy the smile evoking flavors of Ghana. Be it a protein such as goat, chicken or fish, a multitude of fresh vegetables or “bready” carb's, shito made everything taste as it should; joyful.
My family's move “west” left a void in my heart, as there would no longer be road side food carts accommodating my insatiable shito desires. Enter my super (food) hero mother, Mabel. After moving west, my mom would often fill my new found emptiness with her homemade and improvised interpretation of the revered Ghanaian condiment. Once again, I (and my younger brothers) had our beloved shito.
After many long overdue years away from my native Ghana, recently I returned. Long awaited, I quickly found myself (once again) craving the savory joy that is Ghanaian cuisine. Initially if for no other reason than simple nostalgia, I dove right in as if no beat was skipped; I was overcome by the self-indulgence of “shito privilege”.
Upon my return to Los Angeles and away from family, I again missed my dear shito. Without further thought, I made that proverbial phone call so many daughters have made; I called my mother. I asked, “After leaving Accra when I was a kid, how did you come to make your shito? What's your recipe?” Like so many West African's, such recipes are handed down in the oral tradition. It went something like this: “Ah ha, just add a little of this, a little more of that, a dash of whatchamacallit, a scoop of that one thing, a spoon of the good stuff and a whole lot of love.” Via a little improvised “culinary creativity”, I had my shito recipe.
As I dove right in to making my shito, my cousin and brothers caught wind of my new found interest and offered to compensate me, taste untasted. I had my first customers, the confidence to proceed and Gloria's Shito was created.
In the passionate quest for culinary joy, my personal interpretation of shito has been formed representing the proletariat flavors of Ghanaian cuisine. From the modest memories of my childhood and shito filled Ghanaian heart, I wish each and every one of you culinary peace, blessings and nourishment.
Thank you Mom ...
Gloria’s Shito’s mission is to create joy and create love and appreciation for Ghanaian culture while bridging global communities through cuisine. So I invite you to come with me on this journey to my motherland Ghana.