African Food Facts


African food can vary from each country in the continent; however, there are common flavors throughout the dishes that make it distinctive. The cuisine often incorporates many tropical climate crops and combines them with wild game and unique spice mixes.


  • Traditional African meals generally center around starches, such as porridges, cornmeal, grits and fried breads. Additional ingredients are added in small amounts to accompany the chosen starch.


  • Fish is typically cooked together with beef, chicken or goat. Water and vegetables are usually added to the mixture for stew.


  • African food generally makes use of vegetables that can grow in high heat, including okra, yams, black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes. During times when meat is scarce, Africans will eat root vegetables like yams or sweet potatoes with eggs.


  • Watermelon is one of the most widely eaten fruits in Africa. Other commonly eaten fruits in Africa include apricots, bananas and coconuts.


  • African food is often flavored with curry powder, garlic, nutmeg, turmeric and cloves. Peanuts, called groundnuts in Africa, are used as a garnish on soups or meat dishes.

Cooking Methods

  • Slow cooking is a customary method of preparing African food. Ingredients are placed in a pot and slowly heated over a fire.

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