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Food and African Culture

The creation of food is an integral part of the human experience. There are so many unique dishes developed by many unique cultures -especially in the African World.

However, food is also something that has and still can connect us. From history we know that rice was first domesticated in West Africa somewhere near the upper Niger River. Domestication spread as far as the Congo and has been found as Far East as the Swahili coast. Naturally, some cultivation efforts made its way to the Americas and Caribbean.

Peanut stews, Beans, Okra, Plantain, Chicken, and Yams are staples throughout West and Central Africa, as well as the Caribbean and Americas.

Fruits like Watermelon originated in West Africa and can be found in central and even East Africa (evidence suggests that the ancient ancestor of Watermelon got it's start in the ancient Nile Valley before making it's way to West Africa) as well as, again, the Americas and Caribbean.

Either by way of migration, trade, or forced emigration, African people have had an ancient and intimate relationship with each other through the various dynamic ways of cultivating and creating food.

What are some of your favorite African cuisines? Use the comment section to voice your opinion.

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