Between the luxurious beaches and the narrow yet lively Stone Town lanes filled with traders, travelers often don’t get time to truly indulge in the rich local cuisine of Zanzibar, which is influenced by spices from all around the world. Whether you’re sitting at a local roadside restaurant or you’re dining in at one of the lavish coastline restaurants, you’re bound to have your taste buds satisfied by the most diverse and rich cultural cuisine.
Zanzibar has inherited the Swahili culture of cooking, which involves the use of various spices like cardamom, chili powders, black pepper, coriander, cloves while cooking their basic food, which usually involves rice and wheat. The Swahili culture is mostly influenced by the Arab and Indian cuisines. Ginger and garlic are used in almost all of the Swahili dishes, while some dishes also use powdered coconut. This combination makes Swahili cooking distinct and tasty. The most popular Swahili dish among tourists includes Pilau, which is a must-try! Pilau is made of rice along with spices and occasionally, potatoes may be added to give it some more bulk.
Here are some of the other foods (including Swahili foods) that you should definitely try on your trip to Zanzibar and where to find them:
This is one of the most popular foods of the Swahili culture dominant in Zanzibar. It’s made from cornmeal, water and salt. It’s pretty easy to make so you’ll find it everywhere – from local street vendors to fancy restaurants.
These deep-fried savory pastry snacks filled with boiled potatoes and spices are bad for your diet, but they’re definitely worth it! Again, these can be found at street vendors throughout Zanzibar.
If you’re craving some donuts, you should try these because they’re basically donuts with a twist of the Zanzibar culture! They taste delicious and they’re finger-licking good!
This dish will take you to heaven. I am not even kidding! One bite and you’ll crave it long after you’re back home. It’s a dish made of rice and spices that’s immensely flavorful and will satisfy all your taste buds.
Seafood is pretty dominant in the cuisine of Zanzibar (what else would you expect? It’s an island!)
Octopus Curry is a Zanzibar twist to the traditional Indian curry and this combination tastes pretty yummy! You can find it at all coastline restaurants in Zanzibar.
Once again, this is a dish with a Zanzibar twist. Unlike the authentic and original pizza, this type of pizza has egg and mayonnaise on it as well! There are many pizza parlors across Zanzibar where you can try this.
This forms a palatable breakfast item. It consists of fried potatoes tossed into eggs and well, fried again!
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Zanzibar and try out their rich cultural cuisine! You’ll be craving it long after you’re home!
Still not convinced that you should visit the area? Check out why a safari in Tanzania is perfect for Solo Travellers!