African cuisine: Learn About cuisines of Africa
South Africans love their braais (barbeques) and are passionate about the way it should be done, so quote – don’t hinder a South African man and his braai! But there are lots of more delicious, traditional South African foods available; the most well-known of these is probably biltong , strips of dried meat that can come in various flavour and types.
African cuisine is the catch-all term for those the cuisines of Africa. With countless different cultural groups and myriad cooking traditions, it is impossible to isolate one particular type of cuisine and refer to it as African. There is, however, a focus is on using locally available fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy food.
Most popular cuisines of Africa
East African cuisine:
The various cuisines of the continent could be broken up into geographical areas. The cuisine of East Africa concentrate on grains and vegetables, with meat rarely consumed. Maize is the primary ingredient in ugali which is the national dish of Tanzania. In Uganda, one of the most widely used dishes is matoke, a dish of steamed green bananas. Pomegranate juice is widely consumed in East Africa.
Central African cuisine:
Central African cuisine includes ingredients for example cassava and plantains. Spinach stew, peanut stew and bambara which is a porridge like dish of peanut butter, rice and sugar, are very popular. Game meats for example monkey, warthog and crocodile are typical sources of protein.
North African cuisine:
The Horn of Africa is the place to find the increasingly popular Ethiopian cuisine. Famous chefs for example Marcus Samuelsson have helped to create Ethiopian cuisine to North America, and now traditional dishes for example wat, which is a thick stew, and injera, a sourdough flatbread, are typical.
Southern African cuisine:
Southern African cuisine is a melting pot of African cuisines with European and Asian influences. A traditional dish is Potjiekos, a stew which is a stew of meat and vegetables cooked in a surefire pot suspended over coals. Beer has traditionally been ubiquitous in South African cuisine, though mageu is a popular non-alcoholic drink that is produced from mealie pap that’s been fermented. Boboti is the national dish, created using baked spiced meat by having an egg-based topping. Obviously South Africa is also well known for their wine exports and world famous wineries.
Western African cuisine:
Western African cuisine is heavily determined by starches and aromatic spices, though chilies and tomatoes will also be widely consumed. Couscous is popular, so is fufu, a thick paste produced from grinding starchy vegetables or grains. Jollof rice is extremely popular; a dish including rice, tomatoes and spices. Water, palm wine and millet beer are typical beverages.
The cuisine of North Africa is relying on the Mediterranean. Meat stews prepared in urns are popular in several countries, and in Egypt koshari, a dish of pasta, lentils and rice is regarded as the national dish. Also popular is Egypt is ful medames, a dish of mashed fava beans. Interestingly, falafel originates in Egypt.
African cuisine is as varied as the continent itself. A culinary tour of Africa involves myriad exotic spices, game meats, starches, ancient grains and fermented beverages. Cultural putting them to use have been preserved for centuries and while African cuisine continues to be influenced to some small degree by the outside world, it remains greatly as it has since the early days.