Last Wednesday I joined the Twitter chat #AfriTravel, and the subject for the chat was African cuisine. It is my absolute favourite travel topic, and it brought back many nice memories from my travels, and gave me inspiration and tips from others to keep exploring.
With so many foodie memories fresh in mind, here is my top five foodie travel moments from the African continent.
Trainee in a vegetarian restaurant
During the year I lived in Ghana, I made an effort to learn more about the traditional cooking. However, most dishes are made with meat or fish, so I decided to see how the locals handles the local dishes the vegetarian way. I stayed for two full days as a trainee in the kitchen of the vegetarian restaurant in Baobab house in Cape Coast.
I had a great time learning more about the local cooking style, and they shared recipes for their dishes with me. My recipe for Ghanaian ground nut soup and red-red is inspired from this restaurant, but adapted by me to my taste and cooking style.
Amon’s special chapatti
My first solo travel to the African continent was to Kenya, and I was constantly on the move for two months. Chapatti was my survival food when I struggled to find vegetarian food in the rural parts, and to be honest I was quite fed up with it sometimes… However, a visit to Malindi made me have a new experience of chapati!
I met three brothers through Couchsurfing, and I was invited to celebrate New Year´s Eve with them and all their neighbours in their compound. We met early that day and went to the market to buy ingredients, and we spent the afternoon cooking heaps of chapatti. Not regular chapatti, but Amon’s special chapatti with banana, mango and coriander (click here for the recipe)! It was my first experience of cooking in a local house, and I had such a good time with them.
Cooking the local way in northern Ghana
Many of my great food memories come from Ghana, as I have spent much time here and had the chance to dive deep into the food culture.
I spent Christmas in northern Ghana the year I lived here, and I got a chance to cook my Christmas dinner the local way. My boyfriend´s mother opened her backyard and kitchen for me, and assisted me in my cooking. My favourite vegetarian Christmas dinner had to be adapted accorded to available ingredients in the local market. Nut roast turned to nut burgers made on the charcoal grill, and it was served with fried yam balls and vegetarian groundnut soup with mushrooms.
Discovering the real falafel in Hurghada
All though good restaurants can give you a fantastic meal and a journey through the typical food of a country, I´m happier when I can explore food as the locals prefer it. In Egypt, I discovered the real favourite falafel of the locals in Hurghada!
I was in Egypt on a FAM trip, and the program was tight and didn´t give much time for exploring on your own. I discovered some real great food though, and one of my favourite memories from Egypt is the falafel meal from Abo Aya. I am sure there are many other great local food spots around Egypt, do you have any favourite meals from Egypt to share?
Vegetarian heaven in South Africa
All though I didn´t have the amazing authentic and local food adventures in South-Africa, it is stuck in my mind as a vegetarian heaven. On this trip, I most certainly travelled quite different from what I normally do. I traveled with a group with private transport, and I mainly ate in restaurants rather than in local food spots and street food.
My first great meal was a vegetarian version of the traditional Bobotie in Moyo in Johannesburg, and it was truly delicious and delicate. I tried the Veg Spread platter with grilled butternut, brinjals (eggplant), creamed spinach, roast potatoes, grilled haloumi and a lemon coriander hummus at Doppio Zero in Rosebank. The Vegetarian Stacker at Fat Baz in Durban was amazing – a stack of mashed potatoes with layers of creamed spinach, brinjals, roasted red peppers, mushrooms sprinkled with roasted almonds and grilled haloumi cheese. One of the highlights was the traditional fast food bunny chow in Durban, which consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a spicy curry stew.
Some of these foodie travel moments was experienced in collaboration with partners. I visited Egypt in collaboration with the Egyptian Tourist Authorities, and South Africa through a campaign brought to you by the South African Tourism board, supported and managed by iAmbassador. However, Taste of Slow full editorial control of the content published on this site, and all opinions are always my own.
I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.