Africa is the second-largest continent with just over 30 million square
kilometers and the second largest with 1.1 billion inhabitants. A history of
colonization dating back to ancient times in countries such as France, Greece,
Portugal, and Great Britain has left a lasting mark on traditional dishes. In
short, there are many variations in the local cuisine and large regional
differences in the flavors.
Africa is synonymous with wilderness, jungles, safaris, Sahara, and
adventure. However, this continent is also home to an incredible variety of
cultures, all proud of their traditional cuisine. African cuisine is very diverse
and represents a mix of local ingredients, European cooking methods, and
Asian spices. Each African region has defined flavors and spices that together
create truly extraordinary and sophisticated cuisine. It’s a kitchen that can
satisfy raw vegetarians and meat lovers alike, whose subtleties and secrets are
yet to be discovered. African cuisine combines traditional fruits and
vegetables, exotic game and fish from the surrounding oceans with a mixture
of cultures, trade routes, colonies, and history.
Previously, African cuisine was unpopular in the west. However,
recently, it is becoming increasingly popular as people from different
countries come to the west with their native bring dishes.
North Africa is probably the most refined and sophisticated cuisine of
all African cuisines. The traditional cuisine of Morocco, Algeria or Egypt
represents an irresistible mix of Mediterranean herbs, oils, and vegetables
with Asian herbs and classic dishes such as couscous or pilaf, the kebab. The
absolute must of North African cuisines are candies: some can be extremely
sweet, but they are worth the extra calories.
The food of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea is the best
known of the West among all African countries, probably because of its
continuous interaction with the Mediterranean region of Europe.
Lamb, seafood, dates, goat, beef, almonds, olives, and a variety of
fruits and vegetables are the main elements of North African cuisine.
South Africa is the meeting point for many rich dishes, inspired by an
extraordinary variety of culinary techniques inspired by diverse cultures.
Meat and vegetable stews are not the only typical black African cuisine but
also dairy products, fermented cereals, rice, or fish dishes. There is a
particular Asian influence, which is reflected in the use of curry and rice, and
a colonial influence, for which the best ambassadors are good quality South
Meat, especially beef, and lamb, is at the heart of East African cuisine.
It is often accompanied by vegetables and is rich in curry, cinnamon, saffron,
and other aromatic powders brought by the Arabs. Tea, coffee, and cocoa, as
well as various types of bananas, are grown in the region, which plays a
unique role in cooking. In many tourist places like Nairobi or Mombasa, you
will find restaurants specialized in hunting.
Central African cuisine is as exotic and spicy as the jungle. Tapioca
flour, okra, and ginger are the highlights of the cuisine of this region. Peanuts
and peanut butter give Central African dishes a special taste. If you are a big
fan of peanut butter, here are some of the most innovative uses.
Fish cooked in various ways is typical of the West African coast.
Cooking methods include drying, peeling, and fermentation, roasting, and
cooking. Carbohydrate-rich plants and carrots are often used for cooking, as
are Asian spices. Guinea pigs or “grains of paradise” only exist in West
Africa and are among the most popular culinary delights in the region.