Have you heard about the tremendous jollof rice battle? Jollof rice is one of the famous African Foods cooked in several West African countries. Each country claims theirs is the best. I think Nigeria has the best jollof rice (naturally).
I might not be the best judge of African food for a few reasons. First, I have an eclectic palate, and most of my favorite food is the Mediterranean. Secondly, to be a good judge, you need to have a lot of experience, but I’ve had traditionally cooked meals only in Nigeria, Chad, Ghana, Mozambique, and South Africa. That’s a mere five out of 55.
However, if I were to judge based on these, I would choose Nigerian. As I said, I’d somewhat Mediterranean food, but I find that Nigerian food (and if I must be specific, food from the southern part of the country) has the most flavor. The sheer quantity of ingredients that go into making one dish amazes me.
That said, I think the healthiest food of the five (for content and freshness) is from Mozambique. Almost every meal apart from breakfast is accompanied by a salad of some sort. And a cold Cerveja and the slimes I’ve had was from Chad.
Which Other Country Make Delicious African Foods?
The United Kingdom.
Look, this isn’t a joke answer. It may be lighthearted, but my point is serious.
Yes, the UK had an Empire, but for hundreds of years before that, we had a global Emporium. We traded.
Last week I was in Oxford for a few days. While there, I had a coffee in the Queens Lane Coffee Shop. This has been a coffee shop since 1654. We do “world food.”
We’ve had (until fairly recently) relatively open borders. People have come to England from all over the world. And many of them have brought their “home food” with them.
Want a Balti? You could go to Baltistan (now, most of Pakistan, though India rules a few villages) – or you could go to pretty much any local British high street. It may not be the most “authentic” version, but it’s evolved to suit our tastes.
And that’s just one regional dish from part of the Indian subcontinent. Want a Portuguese meal? A Lebanese one? A Korean one? The chances are that the person was doing most of the cooking growing up in Portugal, Lebanon, or Korea.
So, yes, we have our indigenous dishes – battered fish, suet puddings, and the like, and I love them. But I love the idea that I can walk to a Cantonese restaurant or a Greek one.
Sure, there are some lousy ones, but there are some great ones.
And the variety and choice are what makes eating in the UK so pleasant an experience.