Christmas is almost here and it’s a great opportunity to talk about… food! As you know, there is nothing better than a refreshing Coca-Cola with a sumptous Christmas meal. But how do we do it in Africa? Let’s take you on a food journey through the continent.

1)      Ivory Coast

Welcome to Ivory Coast, where you will enjoy a delicious “aperitif” or appetizer called Alloco which is plantains fried in palm oil and served with a spicy red sauce to liven up the flavour. The name alloco is of Baoulé origin and it means ripe plantain.

And then, enjoy attieke with fish. Attieke is by far the most popular dish in Ivory Coast. From rural areas to big cities, everybody eats this Ivorian “couscous” made from fermented ground cassava roots which takes at least two days to prepare. After peeling and grating, the cassava is made into a paste that is fermented and then dried under the sun.

2)      Mauritius

With 300 years of cuisine tradition, Mauritius mixes French, Dutch, British, Chinese and Indian influences. For Christmas, you can get a feast of seafood and grilled king prawns with “rougaille”, a local sauce made with ginger, garlic, pepper, onions, thyme and coriander with “Karipoule” (an aromatic herb found on the island). Or you can go for the “chicken daube”, a traditional dish made of chicken stew in a tomato sauce with chillies.

3)      Nigeria

How do you capture what an ideal Christmas meal would be in a country of more 150 million people? At least we can give you a glimpse of what would go perfectly with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. The one meal you have to taste is Jollof which is the most popular rice recipe in Nigeria. It has many variations but the common ingredients are rice of course, chicken, tomatoes, onions and thyme.

Jollof rice, the favourite Nigerian rice recipe.

4)      Ghana

Banku looks very much like fufu. It is a typical Ghanaian delicacy which is prepared by mixing corn dough and cassava dough in hot water until you get a smooth white paste. The proportion of each dough varies according to people’s taste. It is best served with grilled Tilapia and grounded hot pepper.

5)      Kenya

Are you a master of barbeque? You can answer that when you go to Kenya. At first, you might think that “nyama choma” (grilled meat in Swahili) is as easy to make as boiling an egg but it’s actually a high-level skill. The trick is to make sure the outside fat is crispy while the inside is perfectly tender and juicy. To date, the way to prepare it remains as secret as the Coca-Cola recipe. Once a man knows how to ‘choma nyama’, he can consider himself ready to marry a Kenyan girl. From goat, to beef and poultry, nyama choma is best served with ugali (maize paste) or “chapo” (chapati is a very soft and tasty flat bread).

Nyama Choma
Nyama Choma is at the top of Kenyan food

6)      South Africa

One could compare it to moussaka. “Bobotie” (pronounce it ba-boor-tea) is a mix of curried minced meet (beef or goat), herbs and dried fruit toppled with an egg and milk layer and it takes 40 minutes to prepare. For Christmas, chances are you will also taste “chakalaka” a delicious vegan meal which is quite similar to ratatouille. It is made of tomatoes, onions baked beans and curry. The tangy and spicy flavours will go perfectly with a cold Coca-Cola!

How about you try one of these delicacies for a different experience this Christmas?