Africa may not be leading in science and technology, it may not be so good in edtech, social infrastructure, advanced economy and in orthodox medicine, but the countries of Africa are natural; they have quality foods that people in developed countries are jostling to have. If you are worried about genetically altered foods or you have realized the danger of consuming junk foods, this discussion is for you. I will be discussing quality African cuisines as you would find in many African restaurants in the U.S. Let’s take a walk together to a few African countries to see what good foods they have to satisfy your hunger for delicacies.
Have you ever wondered why many Africans could live beyond the prescribed life expectancy despite the lack of quality health facilities? The answer lies in the quality of African foods and no matter which country you go to in Africa; countless African restaurants are offering sumptuous delicacies to give you the satisfaction of exquisite cuisine and health benefits.
Why is African food unique?
The uniqueness of African foods is in the diversity of amazing cuisines across the African continent. From couscous staple of North African cuisine to bogobe, papa and nsima in southern African and the Sahel Tô cuisine and fufu in West Africa every African delicacy brings to life the incredible splendor of African tradition and culture for good food and healthy living.
Across Europe, the Caribbean, and North America African food is becoming a trend many are waking up to nutrients for good health. The role of food is to fill the tummy when we are hungry and also to provide the essential body nutrients to keep it whole and healthy. While many are wary of the exponential growth of genetically modified food products in the developed world, Africa’s peculiarity in term of development in agriculture seems to count in its favor about the use of GMOs for crop cultivation and livestock farming in the continent.
Tourists who have been to Africa have developed a consuming passion for African foods. The natural state of African food makes it one of the best food delicacies that not only make you satisfied after eating, it also guarantees quality health because what you eat is filled with quality nutrients that nourish your body.
Sumptuous African cuisines sold in African restaurants around you
Let’s look at some African foods served in relevant African restaurants in the U.S., and elsewhere where there are African immigrants:
Pounded yam and vegetable soup, Nigeria
This food delicacy cut across major ethnic groups in Nigeria. The cuisine is made from boiled yam that is pounded soft and firm to look like fufu staple of many African people. Pounded yam is served as traditional foods to grace many festivals in different parts of the country. Nigerians anywhere in the world revere pounded yam as a favorite, and each ethnic group has their preferred soup to complement the status of this amazing delicacy in their tradition. The Yorubas accompany their Iyan with ‘efo riro,’ egusi soup and other types of soups across Yoruba ethnic lineage. In the northern part where Hausa Fulanis are predominant, pounded yam called ‘sokora’ in local dialect is a top delicacy while the eastern part of the country are known to have new yam festival where pounded yam is a vital food served along with their preferred soup such as ukpala otherwise known as ugba soup. Pounded yam is a healthy delicacy served in African restaurants across Europe, America, and Australia. Do visit nearby African restaurants of Nigerian bias to help yourself to a sumptuous pounded yam meal.
Wat cuisine Ethiopian
Ethiopia has a national dish of spicy stew known as Wat made with different types of meat such as beef, chicken, lamb or goat. It also serves as religious delicacy where it is made with vegetables using chickpeas or lentils. Wat main ingredient is the hot red paste called berbere made from a mix of herbs and spices with hot red pepper and fenugreek. A cursory look at the recipe of Wat shows a combination of healthy ingredients loaded with amazing nutrients for the body. Wat is often served with another amazing food called Injera in the local language; Injera is sour pancake-like bread that serves as the spread-cloth of the main food – wat! The ingredient for the sour pancake is teff which has amazing health benefits for the body. This rich delicacy is available as Doro (chicken) wat for meat eaters, and there is a vegan variety as well; next time you visit Ethiopian or Eritrean African restaurant, be sure to order this delicacy!
Couscous Moroccan delicacy
Moroccan traditional couscous is an excellent African cuisine found in many homes in the country. This delicacy is prepared in various ways, but the one with seven vegetables is the favorite of many bred in the hospitality of Moroccan tradition. This dish is prepared with stewed lamb, chicken and assorted vegetables that garnish the steamed couscous grains. The vegan variety of couscous is one served with tfaya with caramelized raisins and onions. Moroccan foods are mostly Berbers delicacies with a careful mix of fresh spices and herbs including turmeric, paprika, cumin, mint, and parsley. There is an excellent use of assorted meat, except pork because of Islamic tradition which forbids Muslims from eating pork meat.
Ugali na nyama choma Kenya
The nutritional value of this delicacy includes proteins, potassium, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium. The food preparation comes with individuals choosing what part of the meat to serve with their portion. Kenya traditional cuisine is influenced by the various countries’ nationals who have made Kenya their second home. As a result, the country’s food culture is affected by the Indians, British and other nationalities. The term Nyama Choma is a Swahili word meaning grilled or roasted meat. Put separately; Ugali is a cornmeal staple of Kenya tradition while Nyama choma can go solo and enjoy with your favorite drink.
Njama Njama and Fufu (Cameroon)
Cameroon is a multi-ethnic society having the Bantus, the Semi Bantus, Shua-Arabs and others; one of the favorite Cameroonian cuisines is Njama Njama soup and Fufu. Giving its cultural diversity, the country is blessed with many foods, but fufu and Njama Njama delicacy is a national staple food. Fufu is made from corn powder while Njama Njama is made from the leafy green vegetable. The treat is often served with grilled and cooked free range chicken. The ingredients used in making Fufu and Njama Njama are the finest African organic raw materials which are high quality and nourishing. Fufu and Njama Njama delicacy and indeed other Cameroonian cuisines are available all over the world where there are Cameroonians, and it is not difficult to locate an African restaurant serving Cameroonian treats, or just ask Afrikagora!
Bobotie South African cuisine
South Africa like other African states has a truckload of amazing food culture; for South Africa, its food history is heavily influenced by its history and location. It not uncommon to find European and Asian food influence in South African cuisines; but irrespective of where you come from, you will find Robotie so loving to taste, and it packs amazing nutrient, and it’s a healthy food for everyone. Like most Africa delicacies, bobotie ingredients include species and herbs to nourish your body and provide the comfort for a restful night as the food is best taken as dinner. This Indonesian influenced African cuisine would make a tasty treat for your family at the nearby South African restaurant.
Why should African immigrants visit African restaurant in the U.S?
It is not in the character of Africans to forget their root. As African immigrants, it is essential to show your children the rich African tradition, and one way to do that is through African cuisines. Agreed, most Africans in Diaspora tend to forget the rich African food tradition because of change in environment, but occasionally, you can visit African restaurant close to you where your traditional food is served to connect with your root. That way your children would understand that Africa is indeed the home of hospitality where the best foods tradition emanates!
Luckily for Africans in the Diaspora, there is a growing trend in African restaurants anywhere you go, especially in America. While Africans from Maghreb region including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania and Libya in the northwestern area of the continent would find Maghreb African restaurants anywhere they are, South Africans will likewise feel at home in southern African restaurants located in many cities and places in America. Of course, Nigerians, Ghanaians who like jollof rice delicacies would find many West African restaurants serving different West African cuisines around them. Indeed, every African immigrant no matter their country of origin will find restaurants serving African foods. Now that you know why not start eating the African way!
Mikhail is a content creator, a digital marketer, and an entrepreneur. He studied Political Science at the University of Ilorin Nigeria.