No road trip through Africa is complete without a stop at a roadside African “take-away”.
While it may be daunting for first time diners to immerse themselves completely in the numerous foreign delicacies, you can’t travel Africa without at least trying some of the amazing roadside foods on offer.
African food is colourful, interesting and alien to most visitors. It also tastes terrific. A well-prepared local meal can be a highlight of your trip into Africa. Trying some delicious traditional African food should be part of every visitor’s itinerary.
Traditional African food is generally cooked over an open fire or in a three-legged pot (or potjie) right next to the road, so meat tends to be served in either stewed or grilled form. A starch usually accompanies the meat: mieliepap (maize porridge), potatoes or rice. Beetroot, carrots, cabbage and pumpkin are the vegetables most commonly served. Typical South African dishes includes tripe, morogo, chakalaka and amadumbe.
- Tripe is a traditional treat favored by most Africans. In the Cape it is considered a regional delicacy and is often served lightly curried with small new potatoes and fried onions.
- Morogo is a type of wild spinach. Combined with butter-braised onions and tomato or mixed into maize porridge, it is a rural ingredient with mainstream appeal.
- Amadumbe is a sweet potato and peanut mash. A tasty restaurant variation of the dish is to cook sweet potatoes, mash them with butter and sprinkle them with roasted peanuts, topped off with a drizzle of honey.
- Chakalaka is a spicy relish served alongside a main course and consists of grated carrots, green peppers, sliced onion, vinegar, chili and that secret ingredient that will distinguish it from anyone else’s.
One of the best parts of traveling is discovering the local food. Whether it’s the fast-food joints with funny names, the roadside food stalls with hot-off-the-grill snacks or the over-processed snack foods you can’t find anywhere else. The voyage of gastronomic discovery can lead you to some interesting places and even more interesting people. Take the time to have a meal with the locals, they might open up a world to you that you would otherwise never have known to exist and places that only they know about.
Which is your favourite?