Food Adventures in Africa
One of the main reasons anyone travels surely has to be the promise of trying fresh, delicious local cuisine, completely different to anything you can eat at home. And, nowhere does this hold more true than in the vast, vibrant continent of Africa. Here are just a few of my very favourite food experiences during African holidays.
Traditional tagine in Morocco
A tagine is named after the pot it is cooked in. Wherever you visit in Morocco, on street stalls and in restaurants, you’ll find tagines simmering away all day. Wherever you go, you’ll find everyone has an opinion on where the best tagines in Morocco can be found. Personally, I think that title might go to Al Fassia in the Guilez district of Marrakech, which sits outside the Medina in the new town. Here, I dined on tangy chicken and preserved lemon tagines. Although, the Sekaya in Fes does give it a run for its money. An unassuming entrance leads you up to the rooftop terrace where you have views of the whole Medina as you dine and the lamb dishes fall apart on your fork.
Extreme sports are big here so if you’replanning a spot of mountain biking in Morocco, tucking into a tagine in a cosy riad at the end of the day is pure comforting bliss.
Burgers with a difference
You have to be careful on Cape Town’s Long Street at night because it is renowned for pickpockets, but we didn’t feel unsafe sticking to the main road and not venturing into any side streets. There are some amazing restaurants here so if you are worried, just take a cab directly to the venue. The Royal Eatery serves up just about every type of burger you can think of. I opted for the ostrich pattie, which tastes a bit like beef but without so much fat and came served up with sweet potato fries.
Another Long Street institution
Open for nearly 20 years now, Mama Africa has swiftly become one of the most-loved restaurants in Cape Town. With wood tables, colourful chairs and a warm atmosphere, Mama Africa serves up dishes with a difference. Here, you can get crocodile kebabs and springbok, kudu or ostrich steaks. The crocodile tastes a bit like monkfish. Afterwards, you can have cocktails at a giant bar that looks like a pink snake.
Seafood in Sharm
While Sharm el Sheikh’s Naama Bay resort is lacking in character when it comes to cuisine, a quick bus journey along to Old Sharmand you get to a place that’s a little more authentic. Although it’s still not that old asthe town was only built in the 80s to bring tourists to the area. Here, the seafood restaurants serve up the freshest catch of the day, and they’re cheaper than in other areas of the resort. My other half and I shared the seafood platter at Safsafa– which was incredibly good value at around £15 for a whole crab, half a lobster, giant prawns and white fish. We also tried the Sinai Star, which was even cheaper and just as good – although the décor was a bit kitsch. The fish here is served up with rice and a tahini dip.
Streetfood in Cairo
While street food can have a reputation for being a bit dodgy, as long as you look out for stalls where the food is cooked in front of you, and it’s all piping hot, I’ve found it’s okay – more than okay in fact, delicious. In Cairo, rickety looking wooden carts where vendors sell delectable vegetarian delights are on just about every corner. I tucked into koshari, which is a mixture of rice and lentils topped with hot chilli sauce, and fulmedames, a broad bean dish a bit like refried beans in Mexico. You can help yourself to bread to mop up all the juices.
Katie is a self-confessed foodaholic who loves to travel. She prides herself on discovering hidden gems wherever she goes. She discovered that just like its landscape and its people, food in Africa is a testament to diversity, telling of fascinating culinary traditions and showcasing local ingredients and cooking techniques.