4 Surprising Facts About West African Foods

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There can only be one place, where you’ll find exotic and mouth watering cuisine; West Africa. The open secret is that you cannot come to West Africa and not fall madly in love with its unique cuisine.  It is rich and varied due to its numerous cultures. West Africa is abundantly blessed with a combination of vegetables, local fruit, meat products, and grains.

West Africa is where you can visit without breaking a bank and eat very healthy; thanks to the creativity of the African food lovers. No matter how much you love the West African meals, there are facts we should know…

We have listed four surprising facts about West African foods that you probably do not know.

Starchy Foods

Groundnut-stew-with rice

A typical West African meal often comes with loaded starch foods that is light on the proteinous side and has enough fat to accompany it.  The starchy meals can come in the form of grits, cornmeal, porridge and fried bread. Rice is like the official meal of some of the countries like Nigeria and Ghana where the preparation of jollof rice has become a sort of fight over who prepares it better.

The Lust for Meat


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Beef is quite expensive. This is one of the reasons why meat can be used to measure how rich a meal is in West Africa.  You should not wonder when you see chicken, fish and even beef mixed in a pot of soup. West Africans pay a lot of attention on meats when eating any meal. Seafood is often a luxury and quite expensive. It is not everyone who can afford seafood leaving it at the mercy of restaurants to prepare. You should check out the street meat in every West African country. You will always find a barbecue meat spots where you’ll find a wide variety of meats, From Nigeria’s Suya to grilled gizzards in Ghana.

The Love of Hot Spices


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Hot spices are one of the few influences that West Africa received from the Western World. The love for hot spices cannot be fully explained except you taste meals that have been prepared with Guinea peppers, chili peppers and other local hot seasoning including the ones imported.  There are places where meals cannot be eaten in public simply because the meal is not hotly spiced.

Spices and Oils

PalmOil stew nigeria

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Lagging comfortable behind carbohydrate in West Africa is fat. If you are coming to West Africa the first time, it may look strange to you. Not to worry because within a few days, you will adapt to the fatty meals around.  Spices and oils help those who work long and hard during the day.

Does this mean that you cannot eat a balanced meal that is sumptuous and healthy in Africa? There are hundreds of meals that you would keep you salivating if you are denied to taste them. We can proudly tell you that West Africa is one of the few places on planet earth where Mother Nature has blessed with herbs, fruits, grains and nuts.


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