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frequently asked questions


Can I get all of these recipes in a book or in an electronic file?

Yes, and yes. (See below.)

A book? An electronic file?

Both a printed book and a downloadable PDF file are available from

Do the printed book and the downloadable PDF file contain the same content?

Yes. In fact, both are produced from the same file. Both the printed book and the downloadable PDF file contain all of the recipes, plus related content (all the introductions and commentary, excerpts from historic texts, and African proverbs) that appears on the website.). The printed book and PDF file contain no advertising (no banner ads, no text ads) and also no images. PDF files support hypertext links, so the PDF file contains all of the internal (page to page) links in the recipe texts, making it easy to navigate, just like the website. (It does not have the "navigation column" links seen on the side of the webpages.)

PDF file?

Portable Document Format. Once you have the PDF file saved on your computer's hard-drive you can use the Adobe Reader to view it at any time (without being connected to the Internet). You can also print all, or part, of it, and search it by keyword.

To view and print PDF files you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.

If you don't have it, visit the Adobe website to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Note: The Congo Cookbook PDF file is produced using Adobe Acrobat 4.0. It can be opened with the Adobe Reader 4.0 (or higher). Earlier versions of the Reader will probably not be able to open it. The current version of the Adobe Reader can be obtained -- for free -- at the link above.


The downloadable PDF file is available from

What can I do with The Congo Cookbook Recipes PDF file?

Once you download The Congo Cookbook Recipes PDF file (click the link above) you may keep it in your computer's hard-drive, you may make copies for backup purposes, and, of course, you may read it and make printouts for your own personal use. You may also make printouts of individual recipes to give to colleagues, friends, or students. The Congo Cookbook Recipes PDF file is protected by copyright. You may not make printouts to sell or to distribute to the general public in any way. You may not distribute the electronic file in any form, freely or for payment, via any e-mail system, any computer network, any file-sharing system, by making copies on computer disk, or in any other way.

Also note: the printed version of The Congo Cookbook is also protected by copyright. You may make photocopies of individual recipes to give to colleagues, friends, or students. You may not make copies to sell. You may not distribute the text in any form, freely or for payment, via any e-mail system, any computer network, any file-sharing system, by making copies on computer disk, or in any other way.

All the recipes are available on The Congo Cookbook website for free, so why should anyone pay for the PDF file or the printed book?

It takes time and money to maintain this website and make it available to the public. Thousands of people visit The Congo Cookbook website each month. Judging from the e-mail they send, many of them are students and teachers. You can help us continue to make all of The Congo Cookbook recipes available on the Internet via the website. Other publishers display only a sample of their recipe collection on their websites and make you buy the book to get the complete collection. We have decided to put all of our recipes on our website, but we need your help to continue to do so.

You can help out by buying something from The Congo Cookbook Shop or by purchasing the printed book or PDF file. We certainly would appreciate it.

If you would like to have all (or a lot) of the recipes, you could print them on your computer's printer right from the website. Or copy and paste the recipe text into your word processor. There are hundreds of recipes, so it may take you a while. And there are some things on the website you don't need to copy or print.

It's easier to get all of the recipes in the printed or PDF version of The Congo Cookbook (the printed version is about 7 cents a page, the PDF version even less) -- so getting the printed version or the PDF file saves you time, money, and paper.

Thank you.

How can I support The Congo Cookbook?

You can also buy any item, like a t-shirt or a mug, from The Congo Cookbook Shop. Just buying an item or two helps a lot. The Congo Cookbook takes a great deal of time to write, edit, and maintain. If it is of use to you, please show your appreciation.

Also . . . Please tell your friends about our website. If you have your own website, please include a link to The Congo Cookbook. If you know of a website about Africa, please let its webmasters know about The Congo Cookbook. And if you know any African recipes, please consider sending them in. Thank you.

Why does The Congo Cookbook website have advertising?

The World Wide Web only seems free. It takes time and money to present The Congo Cookbook recipes and information on the internet. Some of the money needed comes in the form of donations, as described above. We also raise money by accepting advertising. Think about this: if you went to your local bookstore, it would be difficult to find a newspaper or magazine without advertising. You pay for newspapers and magazines, yet they still have ads. The Congo Cookbook website comes at no cost to you, is it so strange that it should be partially supported by advertising?

Can I link to The Congo Cookbook from my website from my blog or website?

Yes. Please! It makes us happy. Copy and paste this text into your webpage to create a link to The Congo Cookbook homepage:

  <a href="">The Congo Cookbook</A>

Thank you.

Where can I find special ingredients for African recipes?

The Congo Cookbook doesn't maintain a list of stores that sell African groceries. Here are a few ideas that might be useful, especially in large metropolitan areas:

  • Look in the phone book or yellow pages for African, International, or Import grocery stores. Also look for Asian, Caribbean, Hispanic, or Latino grocery stores (they often have some of the same items.)
  • Ask any African or Caribbean people you my know.
  • Call the nearest college or university and ask for the head of the "Association of African Students" (or whatever), then call and ask if they know where to obtain African foods.

Who wrote that cool "popup" java script?

The "popup" script that is used in The Congo Cookbook website is basically the work of Erik Bosrup. Please see overLIB for more information.

May I reproduce recipes from The Congo Cookbook website on my website or in my organization's publication?

Anyone may copy any of The Congo Cookbook recipes (in whole or part) on their personal weblog or website, or in a newsletter or similar publication distributed by any nonprofit organization, or in a cookbook or similar publication published to raise funds for a school or religious (or similar nonprofit) organization, so long as these two conditions are met: (1) the number of recipes copied does not exceed ten; and (2) for each recipe copied, the name of the website and the URL of its homepage must be mentioned, e.g., something like: The Congo Cookbook, Websites must include a functioning link (as shown above). Printed publications must have the URL as text. Note however, that any recipe may be updated at any time (to correct any errors we become aware of, to add more information, etc.) so it's always safest to just link to pages of interest.

Also, recipes or other texts from The Congo Cookbook website may be quoted in journalistic (newspaper, and other media) or scholarly publications under "fair use" provisions, provided they are quoted in the context of content related to Africa or African recipes, food, gastronomy, recipes, etc.

Maybe this page should be called "Infrequently Asked Questions". If you have any questions about this website or African cooking and food, please contact The Congo Cookbook (see link below).

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