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The New Cuisine: African Food Today
Today, African food is the most diverse cuisine on the planet, a true "melting pot" of foods and flavors. Africa's history is rich and so is its cuisine. With influences from so many other countries, Dutch, English, Asian, and Indian, Africa's new cuisine is the newest global food trend.
The Mediterranean has a place in African foods with its influence of olive oil, olives, and pasta. Rich African stews are infused with elements from both the East and the West. Using little meat, but an abundance of vegetables, African stews have become a gourmet trend.
Southern African cuisine is reminiscent of the East with its sosaties, which are like kebabs, bobotie, which is a curried minced dish, and bredies, which is a type of casserole dish.
It's all about spice
Africa is all about spice: hot and spicy seasonings characterize the African cuisine. Close your eyes and you'll be able to recognize the Ethiopian seasoning mix, Berbere, which is a combination of chilies, chives, tarragon, coriander, cardamom, fenugreek, and garlic.
The unique flavors of the African new cuisine are dependent on the abundant use of various specific aromatic plants and other spices. Fenugreek, for example, is used a lot and has a bittersweet flavor. Cassava is a starch root and is used to thicken stews. Bambara are African peanuts and are used in various dishes. Similar to cardamom, grains of paradise are strong pepper-flavored seeds and used to flavor stews. Other seeds that are used for flavor include the Egusi seeds. African spices are often mixed. Some spice mixes, such as the Ras Al-Hanout includes over 25 different ingredients, such as rose petals, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and grains of paradise.
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