When you head abroad to any country that isn’t your home, one of the things that you must do is try some of the local delicacies. Delicacies mean different things to different people and cultures and can sometimes vary from fantastic sauces, dishes or grilled meats all the way up to roasted crickets and various bugs that people eat from time to time. Make yourself a pact to try at least one African delicacy in each country you visit to help you really get the vibe of the country and its people, and help yourself maximize your experience.
These worms, which are actually caterpillars, are said to vary in flavor between chicken and tasteless. These are normally cooked with garlic, sauces or other foods to give them a bit more of a taste. Soaking in brine and smoking them are also popular ways to prepare these worms, which are considered an African delicacy in some of the southern nations, where it is also considered a staple food. Taken directly from trees, and with the guts squeezed out, these worms are sautéed with seasoning or boiled with vegetables and then consumed. The worms can grow quite large if given the chance, but many are consumed prior to being given a chance to reach a nice size.
Considered a pest in many African nations, these locusts are abundant and provide many with a source of nutrition and food as well. Dishes are made simply by boiling the locusts, then rinsing, rolling in flour and a mixture of spices, and either shallow or deep frying. Chocolate can be added as well for a dessert option. These African delicacies usually taste of a mix between shrimp and chicken schnitzel, alongside toasted sunflower seeds, making them a popular snack of choice for many.
The African delicacy, Tera Sega, became a prominent form of food in centuries past when warrior-hunters would kill an animal and eat it raw instead of laboring over the creation of a fire for cooking purposes, which could attract enemy fighters. Instead, raw meat developed into something of a delicacy and is still enjoyed throughout the country and also by visitors. The most popular dish is known as Kifo, raw meat marinated in spices or raw meat rolled in spicy chili powder and butter. Warming of the meat is an option, but this African delicacy can cause some intestinal issues such as tapeworms, so de-worming tablets are suggested if you’re going to venture to try this.
This African delicacy provides some of the most traditional food available in West Africa and also Jamaica, where it was exported to in the mid-17th century. It often is used to replace eggs and is normally served with fried onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables. It’s also known by the name ‘vegetable brain’ due to its similar appearance to the human brain. This plant should only be consumed when fully mature, though, as the young plants can be poisonous, due to their large amounts of hypoglycin A, which can cause hypoglycemia and even death. Mature plants can be identified by its open outer body and three to four large black seeds being visible within the plant itself. A highly nutritious plant, this particular African delicacy is high in fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc, and essential proteins.
Called nsenene in Uganda, grasshoppers are normally caught and consumed in April, May, and November. The usual way to prepare this African delicacy for cooking is to pluck the wings and legs from the body prior to frying. They produce their own oil, so oil isn’t readily needed to fry grasshoppers. Flavored with salt, pepper, or spices of choice, these fried bugs are served fresh from the pan. If plucking the wings and legs while they are still alive sounds like something you’d rather not do, you can freeze them for forty-five minutes before doing this little job to stun them enough.
Cow’s blood is a high ranking African delicacy of the Maasai tribes, where the cow is considered one of the most important aspects of the tribe, functioning both as the giver of food and sustenance and also as a financial asset. The Maasai live on milk, pap, meat, and blood, and the blood of the cow is considered an important dish, one which is used to help the sick get well by mixing with milk and serving. The neck of the cow is cut on its jugular, and a clay pot is placed below to collect the blood. The cow is never harmed further in this, and his wound is mended by the Maasai after the milk is collected. This African delicacy is also drunk by the Maasai during special celebrations and ceremonies.
This vegetable has become a staple not just throughout Africa, but also in the southern US state of Louisiana, where it is regularly added to soups, stews, chowders, jambalayas, and gumbos. This African delicacy is perhaps most well known for its strange sticky and slimy texture, which is high in vitamin C and contains a lot of seeds. This African delicacy can be added to almost anything and can also be dried before frying. A popular vegetable, Okra is used throughout Africa and beyond as a staple dish in many places.
African Delicacy: Fufu, Ugali, and Pap, Central, Western and Eastern Africa
Fufu is another staple which is found throughout numerous nations in Africa but is often known by a few names such as Ugali and Pap. This African delicacy originates from Ghana and is a soup made with starchy vegetables such as yams and cassava, which are pounded down and then mixed with plantains before being pounded down again to form a dough-like ball. It is then used as a dipping side for soups and stews. The Southern and Eastern version of this African delicacy is called Ugali and is made from corn flour.
This African delicacy is a specific frog that requires some extra care when cooking due to the poisons within its body. With a mature frog, you will need to ensure the poisonous aspect doesn’t become an issue. Tribal people from the regions use the barks of various trees in their cooking pots to help drain the poisons away. The entire frog is eaten, and not a piece is wasted.
Chitoum is a type of beetle found in West Africa, which is typically drained of its guts, and then baked or fried until crispy and eaten as a dry snack. It is considered an African delicacy and is normally caught fresh and consumed as soon as possible to preserve the freshness.