What Food Do They Eat in Africa?

African cuisine varies depending on the country or region, but local fruits, vegetables and cereal grains are common staples. Milk and meat products are also used often. North, East, West, South and Central Africa have varying styles of food and distinctive preparation techniques.

In Central Africa, plantain and cassava are the primary ingredients. They are often eaten with hunted forest meats such as crocodile, antelope, monkey or warthog. Many Central African dishes feature peanuts and chili peppers.

Northern African cuisine is most similar to Western food. Couscous is a common staple, and many dishes are seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and chili peppers are used regularly.

Southern African food often features seafood or game meats such as ostrich or antelope. Fresh fruits are eaten regularly, including papaya, grapes, mangoes and bananas. The flavoring is often influenced by early Portuguese, British and Dutch foods combined with Malay and Indian spices.

In West Africa, it is common to mix seafood with other meats and serve them alongside starches. Goat is the most common meat source. Soups and stews are often accompanied by yams or cassava. Western African food is typically very spicy and often incorporates peanuts and chili peppers.

In East Africa, dishes are often made with pork, oranges, lemons, limes and pineapple. Corn, tomatoes and chili peppers are also used in this region's cooking. Many curry dishes are influenced by meals made by Indian and British settlers. Grains and vegetables are the base of most East African meals.