Central African food refers to the food had by the people of the Central African region which lies between the Tibesti mountains and the rainforest area of The Congo river basin. The specialty of the cuisine is that it has cultural influences as well as indigenous traditions. As a result Central African cuisine incorporates cooking methods and ingredients available within and outside of the region.
Historical and Cultural Influences on Central African cuisine
Central African food has evolved as an indigenous cuisine ever since cooking began in the region. Outside influences affected the cuisine only during the late 19th century. Although the region was familiar with produce such as Peanut, cassava and chilli pepper plants during the 16th century due to happening of slave trade. Central African food preparations have influences of European as well as Asian Cuisines.
Ingredients Commonly Used in Central African Food
Central African food preparations incorporate a wide range of ingredients including :
• Starchy food items such as cassava roots, potatoes and yam,
• Fruits majorly the plantain,
• Vegetables such as tomatoes and onions,
• Meats including monkey, warthog, antelope, crocodile and fish.
Cooking Methods Adopted by Central African cuisine
Traditional Central African food is made through original and simple cooking methods and boiling happens to be the most frequently used cooking technique. Sauces, meats and stews are made through boiling. Marination is also practiced in Central African cuisine to marinate meats. Meats such as fish are prepared by the technique of deep-frying. Food preserving techniques such as drying are practiced to preserve food including meats for longer durations of time. Steaming is another frequently used method to prepare vegetables and meats.
Central African Food Popular in Foreign Culture
Spinach stew is a Central African food preparation traditionally prepared using peppers, tomato, onions, chiles and peanut butter.
Cooked greens are basic food preparations made of cassava plants.
Bambara refers to a rice porridge comprising of rice, sugar and peanut butter.
Groundnut stew is made using okra, chicken, ginger as well as many other spices.
Black Eyed Peas with Cilantro and Coconut, is a recipe from Burundi served during festivities