Facts about African food/Traditional African food facts


Food varies from country to country and between ethnic groups in Africa but there are some similarities between the foods of most African tribes. African food is generally characterized by the characteristics below.

  • Most African dishes are prepared mainly from grains and starchy foods which abound in Africa such as corn(maize), yam, cassava (manioc), black eyed peas (beans) and are usually cooked with palm oil and either beef, goat meat, lamb, chicken or fish. African cuisines are usually very hot and spicy as they are cooked with hot peppers and other spices.

Now here are some facts about African foods.

  • They are spicy: African foods are normally cooked with a variety of spices and flavours such as thyme, curry powder, ginger, garlic, nutmeg. ground crayfish, cloves, turmeric, cubed meat seasoning popularly called Maggi in Nigeria and a considerable quantity of salt.
  • They are very tasty: African foods tend to be very tasty as they are cooked with a lot of ingredients and spices. Most Africans living abroad find it difficult to adjust to western foods due to this fact.
  • They are fatty: As most African dishes are composed mainly of starchy foods which belong to the Carbohydrate family of foods which are very fatty.
  • African foods are usually served with cooked or fried meat mostly beef, goat, chicken and mutton.
  • Vegetables are a major part of many African dishes especially soups and stews, some examples are okra, tomatoes, spinach, etc.
  • Fruits eaten in Africa include mangoes, papaya (pawpaw), banana, plantain, cucumber, coconut, apricots, watermelon, oranges and cashew.
  • Cooking: African foods are usually cooked by boiling foodstuff and ingredients in a pot for long periods of time usually over 1 hour over open fires.
  • Africans usually eat their traditional foods with their bare hands
  • Popular African foods include Jollof Rice, Couscous, Maboke, Pap en Vieis, Fufu,  etc