Africa’s 20 Most Popular Foods
Southern Africa has the most varied cuisines of any region on the continent
African cuisine is as diverse as the hundreds of different cultures and groups that inhabit the continent. This diversity is reflected in the many local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques. Many of the dishes are also affected by the subsistence nature of living in many parts of the continent – you find farmers, herdsmen and fishermen everywhere. The crops they grow or the animals they keep thus affect the popular dishes in their regions.
The dishes have also been influenced by foreign visitors and invaders. The food of North Africa has been heavily influence by the Phoenicians of the 1st century who brought sausages, followed by the Carthaginians who introduced wheat, then the nomadic Berbers adapted the semolina from wheat into couscous – a main staple diet in the region. From the 7th century onwards, the Arabs introduced a variety of spices, like saffron, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and, from the New World, they got chillies, tomatoes and potatoes.