Asian flavours have been leading the culinary charge for the last few years, with vindaloo, Thai curry and sushi almost staples of the Kiwi diet. And, while Asian cuisine isn’t going anywhere, we’re looking to what’s next in spicy, flavourful, ethnic cuisine and it seems the big, bold flavours of Africa are increasingly making their palatable appearance.
With 54 countries making up Africa and cultural influence from the Middle East, Mediterranean Europe and years of British, French, German, Belgian, Spanish, and Italian colonisation, African cuisine is as diverse as its people.
With much of its flavour originating from spices, meat, grains and vegetables, there’s little cream and butter in African cuisine. Stews and tagines are made with fish, beef, chicken, or marinated goat. Chapati bread and sourdough-risen injera are popular and, although ingredients vary, common ones include plantains, chilles, sweet potatoes, rice, lentils, sorghum, peanuts and cassava.
What sets African dishes apart are the spices. They’re big, bold, colourful and irresistible for any chef who wants to incorporate new flavours into their cooking.
Africa is filled with a wide array of beautiful countries, all with their own beautiful cuisine. There are plenty of options: from salty to sweet, numerous consistencies, meat-filled dishes and options for vegetarians. So if you get the opportunity, why not branch out and add some spice to your life?