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akara x

About African Food

wondered: What do Africans
eat and what does
traditional African food looks
African foods are plentiful
and varied. Rich in dietary
fiber and often organic, they
present a healthy choice
when eaten in the right
African food recipes are
centered round a list of
ingredients easily found all
over the continent. These
are natural unrefined food
items,easily grown at
subsistence farms not far
away from home.
In the whole of sub Saharan
Africa, from Dakar (Senegal)
to Dar es Salam (Tanzania),
southwards to Cape Town
(South Africa), most foods
from Africa are based on
common foodstuffs like
cassava, yam, cocoyam,
rice, beans, maize, sorghum,
millet, groundnut, coconut,
plantain, melons, sea foods,
poultry, beef, goat meat,
bush meat, palm oil,
potatoes, lentil, vegetables,
vegetable oils, and a wide
selection of tantalizing
spices. Out of these
seemingly few list of items
comes a literally unending
array of various delicacies.
African foods are mainly
starch based, with generous
amount of vegetables and
fresh or roasted fish or
meat. This means that they
are devoid of refined sugars
and excess food additives
and rich in bulk and fibre.
Again, 90% or more of
African foods are organic.
These foods are often
grown behind the house at
subsistence level, helped by
the beautiful tropical
weather, which means that
different varieties of
vegetables, fruits, cereals,
tubers, nuts, and grains are
grown all year round.

Fish, milk, meat from poultry
or cow, goat, lamb, or game
("bush meat") as well as
other sea foods provide
their animal protein in all
African communities.
Whether in the bushy
savannas, typical rain
forest, or coastal riverine
settlements, access to
such primary source of
protein is not in short supply
in stable traditional African
There is simply no where in
African you would not find
farmers, hunters, herdsmen
or fishermen...from Yaounde,
Sapele, Lagos to Port

Olaudah Equiano, a.k.a
Gustavus Vassa (1745 –
31 March 1797), one of the
earliest black African writers
in the United Kingdom,
testified in his narrative,
that the traditional African
food is free from
"refinements in cookery
which debauch the taste".
He was captured and taken
to America as a slave at 11
years of age, from what now
came to be known as
Nigeria, and later bought his
freedom for £40.00.
Contrary to what some want
the world to belief, the very
balanced style of cooking
seen in many African
communities today has been
indigenous to Africa
thousands of years even
before the slave trade, or
even before the incursion of
Arabian tradesmen into that
The narrative of Olaudah
Equiano (Gustavus Vassa
the African), as well as the
same preserved manner of
cooking still seen in newly
found African societies
testifies to this fact.
Where ever they went,
Africans took along with
them their cooking. Thus
today, all over the world,
Africans still cook alike with
some little variations.
Like their Asian
counterparts, most cuisines
of Africa are quite spicy,
prepared with very hot
chillies a common trend in
most hot countries.
In the West Indies, the afro-
Caribbean food is thus not a
great deviation from
traditional African dishes.
In North America, the African
American foods are now
generally referred to as
soul food. Soul food was
thus new to America, but not
to the Africans who brought
with them the ideas, despite
been deprived of the proper
ingredients with which to
prepare these meals.
Thankfully, soul food is now
very popular, and eaten all
over black communities in
See what African food looks
like in specific terms as we
take a ride through the
various African countries
and visit their traditional
food stuff in the African
foodstuff section.
The African Dinners
The typical African, whether
in a rural farming community
or in the bustling city milieu
takes great care to see
that meals are properly
served and eaten. Great
attention is also given to
how the meals are prepared
and what are its
Breakfast is often a must,
certainly lunches, and then
dinner or supper.
We shall mention briefly
here, a few food items eaten
by Africans from West of the
continent, for breakfast,
lunch, and supper as a
preview to what the African
dinners look like.
African Breakfast
Breakfast is eaten before
going to the farm or work
place. In farming
communities, breakfast is
obviously so important to
provide energy for the work
ahead. Breakfast is often
light, and could vary greatly,
depending on the part of the
continent as well as the
In West Africa, Breakfast
food items would include:
Kunu or millet porridge
in Northern Nigeria
Ogi or maize pap (also
called akamu) served
with akara also called
beans cake in Southern,
Western and Eastern
Boiled Yam and plantain,
served with fresh fish
pepper soup.
Lunch is eaten at any time
from mid day to 4pm. It is
often the heaviest meal of
the day. Lunch in Africa is
easily prepared from any of
the main staples including:
Cassava products like
Gari akpu or starch
(usin served with
vegetable soup or
banga soup or egusi
soup or Ofe Onubu.
Pounded yam or
semolina or ground rice
(tuwo shinkafa) or corn
meal (tuwo masara) or
amala made from elubo
served with any of the
above soups or ewedu
or abula or gbegiri soup
in the south of Nigeria,
or Miyan kuka or Miyan
Jollof rice served with
moimoi and fried
plantain (see picture
Supper or Dinner
Supper is eaten any time
from 5pm to 10pm in Africa.
It is often a light meal, but
can also be a selection of
any of the above meals
eaten for lunch.
For a full overview of what
is eaten at various times
and in different parts of the
continent, see sections on
the respective type of food,
or see our recipe section.
If you have never eaten or
tried an item of African food
before, go for it. It is
delicious, refreshing, though
could be quite spicy, and
certainly nutritious.

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