When people think about Africa, they generally think about the Kruger National Park, wildlife, and absolutely breath-taking natural landscapes. Africa also has a weird side to it…their food! Weird food in Africa likes fried termites with a side of mopane worms. Traveling to Africa will introduce you to the weird and wonderful food that you can taste all across the continent. You should definitely travel with an open mind and a hungry stomach when visiting the unique and extremely fascinating continent of Africa, and at least try some of the strange but fantastic local delicacies. From stinky bugs to big caterpillars, we have compiled a list of wonderful and weird foods to get your chops around in Africa.
List of Weird Foods in Africa
1. Tera Sega (Raw Meat)
If you’re going to try raw meat while in Ethiopia, but can’t imagine slurping down a still-warm chunk, we’d suggest you enjoy a local dish called Kifo. This unusual African food can be prepared in several ways, but the most popular options are to have it either mitimta (raw beef marinated in spices) or kebbeh (raw beef rolled in spicy chili powder and butter).
Why not just cook the meat? In the past warriors would kill and then eat an animal, rather than spend time laboring to make a campfire to cook it over, as the chances of enemy soldiers spotting the smoke were quite high. If you’ve never tried this dish before making certain you bring de-worming tablets as this food choice, while high in vitamin B and potassium, can also lead to tapeworms.
Where You Can Get It: Ethiopia
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2. Mopane Worm
The Mopane Worm, also known as Imbrassia Belina, was covered in a previous blog post, but it’s on this list as well. It’s not your normal restaurant cuisine though it’s definitely tasty, and it’s a staple food for many people in Africa. This weird food in Africa can grow quite large given a chance, which they rarely are nowadays. They are plucked from trees and bushes, given a squeeze to get rid of the guts, before being boiled up with ingredients such as garlic and tomatoes, given a quick fry-up, and are then eaten straight out the pot or pan. When cooked right, locals said to taste just like chicken.
Where You Can Get It: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana
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3. Ackee Plant
Traditional fare in West Africa and Jamaica, the Ackee plant was exported from Africa in the mid-17th century and is still enjoyed today by those who live in the Caribbean. It often replaces eggs at breakfast and is delicious served with fried onions and tomatoes. Another name for the Ackee plant is ‘Vegetable Brain’, and although it’s yellow it looks surprisingly like the grey matter in our skulls.
If you’re willing to try this unique African food, make sure you do so when it’s properly matured, as immature fruit is toxic due to a compound in it called hypoglycin A. In large quantities, the unripe fruit causes hypoglycemia, basically stopping the liver from processing glucose which can cause permanent neurological damage or even death! It splits open on its own and shows three-four large black seeds when it is ready for consumption. It is high in vitamin A, zinc, essential fatty acids, and protein.
Where You Can Get It: West Africa
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4. Ostrich Egg Omelette
Here’s a dish for omelet lovers to get egg-cited about. In Africa, they make the mother of all omelets with an ostrich egg, which is mighty when you remember that the eggs can weigh more than 3 pounds each. This whopper of an omelet and one of the strangest African food is probably best shared with a few friends, especially since an ostrich egg is equal to 24 normal eggs – we’re not yolking! A traditional African ostrich omelet is served plain and simple, with butter, salt, pepper, and parsley.
Where You Can Get It: All African Nation
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5. Giant Bullfrog
The lower half of a frog is a delicacy for the French. In Namibia, they don’t stop at just the legs, thigh, and feet, they eat the whole thing! But be warned, if incorrectly prepared or taken before it is mature/ croaking, you could be stricken with kidney failure, known locally as Oshiketakata, due to the poison in the frog.
There are different ways of cooking this bizzare food in Africa to neutralize the poison. With wood from the Omuhongo tree, people in the Ongwediva or Oshakati region line the inside of their cooking pots; while those in the Oshikango or Okambebe region use wood from the Omuva and Oshipeke trees.
Where You Can Get It: Namibia
Biltong is perhaps not so much of weird food, but is definitely wonderful, as it is a South African specialty that most locals live on. This weird food in Africa is made from good quality cuts of meat such as rump or silverside, which is seasoned with spices and vinegar and hung out to dry naturally. It may look moldy or too dry to eat, but biltong is definitely worth trying, as it is extremely flavorsome and tasty.
Where You Can Get It: South Africa
You probably won’t like this little beetle one bit if you’re grossed out by Mompane worms. This dark-colored bug is eaten dry as a crunchy snack served chiefly along the West Coast of Africa. Before being baked or fried until they are crispy the bugs are caught and have their innards squeezed out. This bizarre African food sounds so unique but in the African nations, it is part of their food habits.
Where You Can Get It: West Africa, Ivory Coast
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A meal of milk and honey sounds much like the fabled ambrosia which is popular in myths involving Greek gods. this most bizarre food in Africa may be found in the diet of the Maasai tribe, who live on milk, pap, meat, and blood. Yes, you read that right, a staple part of their diet comes from drinking fresh, warm blood from their cattle. The cow’s jugular is nicked and a calabash or clay pot is held below the entry point to catch the blood. A mixture of hot ash and mud is then applied to the wound to seal it, and the cows suffer no ill effects. The blood mixed with milk is usually given to the sick to nourish them; it is also drunk by the tribe during special celebrations.
Where You Can Get It: Tanzania and Kenya
9. Goats Head
On the auspicious occasions, people kill goats and make all sorts of meat dishes ranging from Nyama, Choma (bbq), boiled meat, mbuzi fry (fried goat meat with copious amounts of onions), and soup in Kenya. But the goats head wins the prize for the most unusual food dish in Africa. First, the goat head is roasted on high flames to burn off the hair and to give it some petrichor flavor. After that, the head is then boiled for hours, and people eat the soft meat and drink the soup. Some also open the head and eat all the gooey meat inside including the brains. For many more days, the goat head is boiled, and people keep drinking the soup.
Where You Can Get It: Kenya
This little plant is actually in the same family genus and has a very similar appearance to the marrow vegetable. It is high in vitamin C and fiber and can be cooked up in a number of ways. Though quite prickly on the outside, when sliced open the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s slimy, sticky, and has lots of seeds. This unusual food in Africa has been exported around the world, and in Lousiana, USA it has become a staple ingredient in gumbo dishes. If you’re interested in trying it, know that it can be added to almost anything. Eat it in stew, chowder, fry it with eggs, or dry it for a day or two before frying and flavoring it with spices.
Where You Can Get It: In All African Countries
11. Fufu / Ugali / Pap
Fufu is a staple food in central and western Africa, originating from Ghana. Starchy vegetables such as yams or cassava are pounded down and added to plantains before being boiled and then pounded again until they form a doughy ball. It is then traditionally eaten on the side of a soup or sauce, much like the Western World which uses bread in its various forms (garlic, pita, whole-wheat, etc). A similar food called Ugali is made from masa (corn flour) and is eaten in Southern and Eastern Africa. This strange food in Africa is known as pap in Southern Africa.
Where You Can Get It: Central, Western, and Eastern Africa
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These jumping insects are called serene in Uganda and are traditionally roasted or fried before being spiced. If you’re interested in trying one, catching them involves either a net or a bucket-and-tin contraption. They come out predominantly in April, May, and November. To prepare this unique African delicacy, the wings and legs are plucked off while they are still alive before the insects are thrown into a pan to fry. They produce their own ‘oil’ when being cooked. Flavor them with salt, pepper, or your choice of spices and enjoy. If pulling off appendages while they’re alive sounds cruel, freeze them for 40 minutes first, or pull their head off (this removes the guts at the same time).
Where You Can Get It: Uganda
So far we have discussed the unusual foods in Africa, which contains the proper information regarding all the famous strange foods in Africa. I hope you might have loved reading this article and if you love to know more about Africa then kindly head to our other articles as well which will help you to get knowledge about.