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.