Example of Africas’s Traditional Food

africa's traditional food

Africa is the second most populous continent in the world accounting for 15% of the global population. It is also one of the most culturally diverse continents on the planet. For example, UNESCO estimates that there are slightly more than 2000 languages spoken in Africa. This rich diversity of African culture extends to African cuisines as well. Here are some of Africas’s traditional food.

• Fufu (West Africa)

Fufu is a staple food in West Africa. It is also common in the Caribbean. The chief ingredient in fufu is cassava. The preparation method is simple. You cut boiled cassava into pieces and then you pound it into a sticky and slurry mixture. You also add water to the cassava periodically as you pound it. Finally, you form it into a ball before serving it to your guests. You can serve it with soups made from groundnut. Today, fufu machines are widely available so you do not have to pound the cassava by hand. You can also prepare fufu with maize flour, mashed plantains, or semolina instead of cassava. Fufu is rich in potassium and low in cholesterol.

• Injera (East Africa)

Injera is a national dish in Eritrea and Ethiopia. The people of this region prepare this dish using teff flour. Teff is an annual grass that is high in iron, calcium, protein, and dietary fiber. It is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea. The cook mixes teff flour with water and then he lets it ferment for several days. The cook pours it onto a baking surface after this time elapses. The bottom part of the injera has a smooth texture while the top part has a porous one. The porous nature of the top part makes it suitable for scooping dishes and sauces.

• Biltong (South Africa)

The people of South Africa ate various kinds of meat including beef, game meat, and ostrich meat among others. Unfortunately, preserving it was a problem especially when modern techniques of preservation were unavailable. Therefore, South Africans preserved meat by slicing it into strips before they cured it with salt. They also dried it. The Dutch introduced spices to this meat including cloves, coriander, and pepper. They also added vinegar. Today, most South Africans eat biltong as a snack, but you can turn it into a stew if you would like it that way. Biltong is highly nutritious because it contains 67% protein content. It is now available in nearly all Western countries and in India as well.

• Tajine (North Africa)

Berbers have lived in North Africa for thousands of years perhaps as far back as 10,000 BC. An Arab historian who lived in the 1100s described how the Berbers made this dish. His name was Ibn al-Adim. He wrote that the first step was boiling the meat in an earthenware pot. The local name for this pot is Tajine. Then the Berbers fried the meat with onions, hot spices, coriander, and garlic. He also wrote that Berbers cut fennel hearts into pieces as they placed them over the meat. The mixture boiled until it was ready. Nowadays, the people of North Africa use additional spices when preparing Tajine including turmeric, saffron, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon among others. It is one of the most popular foods in Algeria and Morocco.