Usually, almost every meal is finished with strong and sweet tea. Like in many other countries, Malian tea service has become a highly ritualised affair. Generally, three rounds are served: the first for life, the second for love, and the third for death.
Malian people have always been interested in finding the places where their ingredients came from, in choosing each ingredient, in buying them as long as they are fresh, and in how all these ingredients are used or prepared. Most of the high quality products contain more flavour which can be found in fine chocolate, home-grown tomatoes, and prime-grade Beef.
High quality ingredients are extremely important in recipes that are simple and direct. The most famous tomatoes salad is called insalata caprese which consists of mozzarella and basil drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper.
The majority of West African foods are built first on a base of starches, either rice or fufu; rice dishes vary from the plain, boiled white variety to the ubiquitous jollof rice found throughout all of West Africa. The most used spices are cinnamon, thyme, saffron, and cayenne. Fufu is made from cassava root, rice or plantains, and yams.