Mawa’s Taste of America


Cary, NC – Remember Mawa’s Taste of Africa, a charming and delicious eatery formerly in Morrisville? Mawa has a new restaurant and a burgeoning food empire. It’s called Mawa’s Taste of America and it’s in Dakar, Senegal.

Mawa’s Taste of America

4,035 miles from Morrisville (as the crow flies) is Dakar, Senegal on the west coast of Africa. Mame Hughes and her husband Kevin, the owners of Mawa in Morrisville, moved to Dakar to work on a food project with the Senegalese government. Mame was born in Senegal and moved to the United States for school in the 1980’s. She met a New Yorker, got married and raised four children.


With the kids off to college, it was time to move back to the land where Mame was born.

That was in 2011. Now, Mawa Foods has three restaurants and a line of condiments and sauces.

Recently, Mame converted one of her restaurants to a new concept for Dakar, a city of 1.056 million people: Mawa’s Taste of America.

You can get pancakes and bacon for breakfast or Belgian waffles at Taste of America. You can get grits.

For lunch, there are sandwiches and omelets, pink lemonade, funnel cakes and bagel with cream cheese. Mame has a pizza oven and is contemplating a delivery service.

See the menu for Mawa’s Taste of America.

As Featured in Dakar Eats

Mawa’s Taste of America was featured recently in the food blog Dakar Eats. They linked back to our story about the restaurant in Morrisville and that’s how we found out about Mame’s latest ventures.

You can even follow Taste of America on Facebook. You can follow Dakar Eats, too.

While it’s remarkable that Southern culture has become so cosmopolitan as to be exporting a taste for grits and funnel cakes to Dakar, we still miss a good Lamb Tajine right here in the Triangle.

4 replies
    • Hal Goodtree
      Hal Goodtree says:

      Thanks for keeping us up to date on Mawa and the Dakar food scene. Send Mame back to North Carolina every now and then to cook something for us.

  1. Jamie Berger
    Jamie Berger says:

    It is sad that this exportation of the Standard American Diet (SAD) is portrayed in a positive light. Unfortunately, the adoption of Western diets in Africa is contributing to a rising epidemic of chronic disease. Foods such as those served at “Mawa’s Taste of America” are responsible for this tidal wave of illness that is taxing an already overburdened and resource-poor healthcare system in Africa (as is the case in the U.S.).

    “Over the next ten years the continent is projected to experience the largest increase in death rates from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes.”

    “Developing countries already bear more than 80% of the burden of chronic illnesses. Their share will grow—at a time when older diseases are still ravaging the poor … The World Health Organisation expects deaths from non-communicable diseases to rise by 15% between 2010 and 2020, with jumps of over 20% in Africa and South-East Asia … Even in sub-Saharan Africa, chronic illnesses are likely to surpass maternal, child and infectious diseases as the biggest killer by 2030. Most of them stem from sugar, fat, smoke and sedentary lifestyles.”

    Exporting a taste for grits and funnel cake–fat and sugar–is nothing to celebrate. It’s a tragedy.

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