The Ultimate Zanzibar Travel Guide for Food Lovers
One of the beautiful things about travel is the cuisine each country possesses. In fact, one of the reasons people travel is to sample the local fare.When it comes to Zanzibar, the food is influenced by a whole lot of different cultures. From the Bantus to the Persians and the Portuguese, to the Indians and even the Europeans, every culture has given something to Zanzibar.
From the Arabic culture comes the fragrant pilaf- a combination of rice, spices, and nuts. The Bantus used a lot of plantain, yam and sweet potatoes in their food which remains the case even today. From the Portuguese came the sweet pineapple and the versatile maize. The Europeans brought their pepper steak with them. All the seafood comes from the Bantu culture that used it extensively and well. India gave Zanzibar samosa, masala, curry and chutney, fish cakes and biriyani.
Among its many dishes Zanzibar is famous for, the some of the most popular are:
Urojo- a fritter in its most essential sense, the urojo is a mix of different fritters, doused in a gravy.The dish is then completed with a topping of even more fritters! This is junk food at its delicious best. The other dish is the samosa—normally filled with vegetables or meat and complete with sinful decadence.
Mandazi- this is the Zanzibari doughnut. Deep-fried, slightly sweet and sprinkled with cardamom. If sweet treats are your thing, try the Vitumba, a coconut rice flour cake. A perfect accompaniment to a sweet cut of tea.
Boku-boku- this meat is cooked with a fragrant mix of ginger, chili, onion and tomatoes, along with maize.
Mishkaki- this dish is a kebab skewer, normally made of chicken or beef. This is a great on the go dish because it’s easy to carry around and you can satisfy your hunger, while on the move.
Sorpotel- essentially boiled meat, this dish can be attributed to India. In fact, it carries a masala base and also has the acid of vinegar and the sourness of tamarind. The meat is predominantly liver, tongue and heart.
Seafood- among the many dishes on offer, pepper shark and octopus are amongst the most popular dishes.
Pilau meat- a perfect accompaniment to pilau, this dish usually uses goose meat but also cow or calf meat. The dish is finished up with coconut milk, potatoes, and other vegetables.
Biriyani- while the pilau is a combination of rice and meat and vegetables, the biryani cooks rice and curry separately and both are eaten together.
Date and hazelnut bread- made during the holy month of Ramadan, this bread has a sweet vanilla flavor as well.
Spice cake- this dessert of choice is a pastry made out of chocolate, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
If you’d like a taste of great food, may we suggest the Kichanga Lodge? This is one of the jewels in the Zanzibar luxury beach resorts family and it comes with an iconic eating place – the Rock Restaurant.
Simple, delicious food made with Italian inspiration and twists of Zanzibari influences, in a spectacular setting – this is the USP of the place. Indulge in food and look at the waters around you, as you immerse your senses in the wonder that is Zanzibar.