To put it simply, if you're not having a culinary experience every time you eat in Zanzibar, then you aren't doing this island the right way. Seasonings? On deck. Ingredients? Fresh. Prices? Unbeatable. I have no complaints about any of the food I tried on this island - and I'm already craving some of my favorites now that I'm back home in North Carolina.
The history of the spice trade in Zanzibar has left a profound influence on the island's cuisine and flavor profiles. Zanzibari dishes are presented as a harmonious blend of aromatic spices, fresh vegetables, a starch or bread and of course - meat. Fish is a popular choice since it's available in abundance here, but many dishes also use beef or duck. Because this is an Islamic country, pork is not used in any dishes here.
Zanzibari spices - cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves - are used generously in local recipes, infusing the cuisine with a unique and delightful flavor that is both bold and
nuanced. The aromatic richness of Zanzibari cuisine reflects the island's spice heritage, making it a treasure for food enthusiasts and visitors seeking a sensory journey through its diverse and flavorful dishes.
In this blog post, I'll outline the top 10 Zanzibari foods - sweet, spicy and savory dishes - you need to try while visiting this lush island.
A fried dough sprinkled with sugar and spices.
Kashata Za Karaanga
A sweet candy bar made of nuts, sugar, spices and coconut milk.
A pan-fried dish of scrambled eggs and fried potatoes.
Chapati (My personal favorite!!)
A pan-fried bread made of flour, salt, water and coconut oil.
Wali Na Maharage
Rice and beans, typically served with a meat.
A traditional East African dish made from flour and boiling water, typically served with a sauce.
Urojo Wa Zanzibar (My Personal favorite!!)
Zanzibar soup mix starting with a flavorful soup base, with vegetables, meat, dumplings, and other items added in.
Mchuzi Wa Samaki
Any fish cooked in a creamy coconut curry sauce, typically served with rice or ugali.
Grilled chicken marinated in spices.
Pili Pili Sauce
A very spicy chili grown locally in Zanzibar, blended down with lime juice and salt.
Locally Grown Fresh Fruits
Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Baobab, Tamarind, Banana, Coconut... the list goes on!
Which food looks the most appetizing to you? Comment below if you've ever tried any of these foods and which one was your favorite! Talk soon.