When you are travelling, trying new typical food is one of the best things to do to experience a new culture and, although – being an extremely picky eater! – sometimes it’s hard for me to taste new things, I’m really committed to have all the local food I can whenever I go somewhere new.
I have just returned from a trip to Tanzania and I spent 10 days in Zanzibar, where I had some of the best food I have ever tried!
Zanzibar is known as the spice island, so it’s no surprise that the food here is particularly tasty! The local cuisine offers a great variety of vegetarian dishes and there hasn’t been one single place on this island where I had bad food.
Starting from its capital, Stone Town, make sure not to miss the food market in Forodhani Garden, an authentic cultural experience, with a mix of incredible smells, colours and tastes. Try the Zanzibar pizza – kind of a pancake but with pizza toppings – a bbq with lots of vegetables to choose from or have a sugar cane juice with ginger and lime.
If you are looking for a restaurant, instead, my favourite has definitely been Monsoon. Choose between a nice outside area with a sea view or the inside restaurant with a typical setting and the possibility of dining on the floor. The dish I tried was a traditional vegetable stuffed aubergine, with mango salad, chickpeas in coconut sauce, cassava, chapatti bread and kisamvu (cassava leaves).
Another thing I loved everywhere on this island was breakfast! Who wouldn’t love to have some fresh fruit and juice looking at the white sanded beaches and blue sea? But that’s not all! These are usually followed by a big portion of eggs, potatoes, chapatti, mandazi (a fried bun with cardamon) and spice coffee, one of my favourite drinks ever!
Another great experience for you palate is the spice tour. Although I usually try to stay away from the main tourist attraction, this one is definitely worth doing. You get to spend the day walking around a spice farm and try all the spices and fruit!
However, one place in particular stole my heart when it comes to food: the Rock restaurant. A few km away from Jambiani, where I spent a few nights, there is this cute little restaurant on a rock in the middle of the sea, that you can reach by boat in case of high tide or walking with low tide. Besides being an amazing setting for a one of a kind dinner, the food I was served was one of my favourite meals ever. From starters to the desserts, everything tastes so fresh and delicious. Prices were a bit higher compared to other places in Zanzibar, but 100% worth a visit.
However, Zanzibar is also the perfect spot to try new drinks. Fruit juices are always refreshing and so tasty and, like I said above, you must try spice coffee. If you prefer tea to coffee, they also have a variety of tea types, like ginger, banana, cinnamon, etc…
If you are looking for a refreshing soda type of drink, try Stoney Tangawisi. I usually don’t like sodas and I prefer drinking water, but after trying this ginger flavoured soft drink I became addicted to it. Finally, you can find plenty of local beers from Tanzania, but my favourite has definitely been Safari.
Are you hungry yet?!