Trend spotlight – West African Cuisine!
African ingredients and flavours are gaining momentum across the food and drink sectors!
Over the last few years, much of the food and drink focus has been on the flavours of Northern Africa, but more recently we have seen a huge rise in interest in the largely unexplored cuisine of Western African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. In fact, according to Google Trends data, searches for West African recipes have significantly increased over the past 12 months, with searches for Nigerian food increasing by a massive 250%!
But why the sudden interest? West African dishes tend to be high in plant-based protein and are also mainly, gluten-free which is more than likely why we are seeing such a huge increase in the cuisine. Plant-Based diets have become immensely popular over the last few years; it is now being reported that there are nearly 88 million vegans in the world, yes you read that number right, 88 million, that's 1% of the population opting for a meat-free diet. Interestingly though, West African dishes also tend to contain a lot of Palm Oil, which is an ingredient that you see a lot of new and upcoming plant-based dieticians trying to avoid. What's the issue with Palm Oil though? Well, it has been and continues to be a major driver for deforestation in some of the world's most biodiverse forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species like the Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino.
But what is all the hype really about? Well, quite honestly all you have to do it look at some photos of West African food and you'll understand what the hype is about before even tasting anything. Plantain chips, Jollof rice, Chicken Peanut Soup, Hot African Pepper Chicken Wings and Beef Suya are just a few of the mouth-watering dishes that originate from Northern Africa and that's only a handful, the list goes on and on...
We managed to find a few dishes that contain some of our fine foods range, like Moin Moin which is a famous dish from Nigeria made using Black Eyed Beans (Produce code 8582). Or how about Ogbono soup also from Nigeria, made using a huge range of Vegetables, Meat and most importantly, Okra (product code 1942). Neither of those taking your fancy? Why not try Thieboudienne; a dish described as "The Mother of Jollof", this fabulous meal is full of goodness and made using plenty of Rice, Vegetables and steamed fish, with the secret ingredient being Scotch Bonnet Chillies (Product Code 784).