Central African Food Facts

The region described as Central Africa stretches from the Tibesti Mountains in the north to infamous rainforest basin of the Congo River. Food traditions of this area remained largely free of culinary influences from colonialists and other worldly influences, until the late 19th century. Along with the slave trade came widespread adaptation of cassava, peanut, and Chile pepper plants. These highlighted food stuffs have had a large influence on the local cuisine, but not necessarily preparation methods. Central African cooking has remained mostly traditional, despite this like other African countries there is an impressive array of food dishes.

Basic ingredients of this region are plantains and cassava. The staple is Fufu-like starchy foods (usually made from fermented cassava roots) which are commonly served with grilled meat and sauces. The real array of styles and cuisine is demonstrated when preparing other dishes like spinach stew, cooked with tomato, peppers, chili’s, onions, and peanut butter.

Generally Cassava plants are also consumed as cooked greens which accompany an array of dishes. The ever popular Groundnut (peanut) stew is also prepared, containing chicken, okra, ginger, and other spices. Beef and chicken are favorite meat dishes, but traditionally game meat preparations containing crocodile, monkey, antelope and warthog are also served occasionally as a real treat. In regards to beverages as with the West African traditional root based concoctions are created within communities and hence these recipes are passed on till today.

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