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is there such a thing as an indigenous African dessert

Dessert in Africa

For the most part, dessert is not a part of the traditional meal in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most common meal in Sub-Saharan African is a soup or stew (like Moambé Stew, Groundnut Stew, or Palm-Oil Chop) accompanied by a starch (like Baton de Manioc, Fufu, Ugali, Rice, or something similar); though Africans may eat fried fish or roasted meat with boiled greens or root vegetables, they may feel they haven't had a meal unless they have eaten a soup or stew with a starch. If possible, enough is prepared to allow for second and third helpings. The multi-course meal, "from soup to nuts", is not the traditional African way to eat. At large gatherings and celebrations multiple main courses are prepared. Cakes, pies, or ice-creams at the end of the meal is not "African" in the strictest sense of the word. Arabs, Asians, Europeans, and Indians, who have lived in Africa for generations, have brought their own traditions of sweets and desserts, which are well-known in many African countries. The most strictly "African" of desserts and snacks might be Fruit Salad, or just plain fruit, is sometimes served after a meal. While traditionally most Africans do not eat dessert, they do snack on various spicy foods (like Akara) or sweet foods (such as fresh fruits and raw sugarcane). See: Snack Recipes.

The Congo Cookbook has a recipe for Caakiri, (a dessert made from couscous and cream which is popular in the Sahara and Sahel regions of Western Africa), and Ngalakh (a similar dish flavored with the fruit of the baobab tree). From Eastern Africa comes a kind of cookie-candy: the Swahili Kashata, and from Western Africa, Kanyah. Also see the desserts that come from European traditions: Coconut Pie and Fool.


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