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Madagascar food generally consists of rice served along with laoka which is the primary accompaniment to the staple dish. A laoka may be vegetarian or cooked with proteins derived from animal sources. It is cooked in a sauce flavored with onions, ginger, garlic and curry powder often containing vanilla as well. In the more arid regions, families eat maize and cassava with zebu milk instead of rice. The laoka is tomato based in the interiors of the island whereas the coastal regions prefer coconut milk for preparing it.

An enormous variety of sweet tropical fruits are available in the island. Street foods often include a variety of spicy and sweet fritters. The common beverages consumed in the island of Madagascar include fruit juices, herbal teas and alcohols like rum, beer and wine. It is customary to serve alcohol at social gatherings along with fried snack items.

The island is well known for its cocoa and vanilla production most of which is exported. The up scale restaurants, however, use the vanilla to flavor sauces served with poultry based Madagascar food items.

A variety of sweet breads collectively known as mofo are extremely popular throughout the island nation. Home made yogurt along with sweets made of peanut brittle, dried banana and fried dough rolled in colored sugar are sold as street foods.

History of Malagasy Cuisine

The ways of eating food as well as the main food items have changed in Madagascar along with every batch of migrants starting from the earliest settlers. The South Asians, African, Chinese, Indians and Europeans have all left their mark and each Madagascar food item consumed by the local population has a historical origin.

Chinese fried rice and noodle soup are popular in the island as are biriyanis and curries of Indian origin in the port town of Mahajanga. The street foods known as sambos are variation of the India samosas whereas the foie gras and baguettes can be traced back to the French colonists.

Popular Food Items of Malagasy Cuisine

  • Ro-mangazafy- a flavorful broth prepared with tomatoes, beef and garlic.
  • Romazava- the national dish prepared from beef and anamamy greens. Anamalao flowers are often added to it which have an analgesic effect on the body.
  • Koba akondro- A steamed sweet dish prepared by mashing bananas with ground peanuts and honey and steaming then wrapped in banana leaves.

Places Famous For Food in Madagascar

Le Cocoteraie, located on the beach is the top hotel of the island containing a number of restaurants serving the local food along with several International dishes.

Malagasy Food: Trivia

Kaka pizõ is a popular Madagascar food item prepared from pigeon droppings.