Roadside Foodie the local way

Central Cameroon south of Ngaoundere
Eating on the road in Africa has always been an enriching experience and hugely appetising I may add! In this photo the meat (beef in this case) has been chopped into smaller pieces and barbeque'd on coals. Onion gets sliced up and added afterward as well as some spicy spices if you want, otherwise, just salt. The mixture is shaken up in the brown paper before being wrapped up tighter for you. The price - well, the princely sum of US$0.40! Delicious and filling!!

This meal I had was in a tiny village in central Cameroon where the road was one big mud mess and trucks were stuck, rolled over plus another 300 waiting in a queue to get through. I waited here for two days before eventually turning around and trying another route to get north via Ngaoundere. Needless to say the village was booming with all the truck drivers and crew who needed food and drinks. Even breakfasts were available with some tea/coffee (instant) and then maize meal porridge and some boiled eggs - a full breakfast would rip a US$0.70 from your pocket.

One thing I've learnt in Africa, and subsequently elsewhere in the where the locals eat! If the food is crap, they won't eat there. If the food is off/stale, the locals won't eat there. Get to a little roadside stall and you see the locals queueing for food - get in line and stuff your face!

Lunch in Xangongo, southern Angola

In Franceville, Gabon there were the footlong baguettes with a filling of your choice for $1.00! This tip I got from Matt, one of the partners that own the Sleeping Camel in Bamako. My word!! This was hands down the best baguettes/rolls I ever had, just a shame I was just passing through the town as I would've indulged 3 times/ least! The rolls were freshly baked and a lady was at a table with 3 huge pots simmering away. In one was beef mince, another had vegetables and the other was a meaty stew. This was the choice of fillings that day and boy, are they generous with the helpings!

In East Africa you have the Nyama Choma (Swahili for roast meat, usually beef or goat) on the roadside. The meat is done over very hot coals/fire and then served with some maize meal porridge (shima) or rice and a sauce if you so desire. This is another cheap but great tasting meal that will fill up a hungry traveller.

Many places will of course have the corn on the cob done over the coals; a 'little' snack for the not so hungry. I could go on ad nauseum but you get the idea! I'm not saying shun the restaurants but don't neglect the roadside food stalls and little local restaurants.


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