‘Why is the food so good here?’ – Anthony Bourdain
As Anthony Bourdain once asked in his Mozambican episode of ‘Parts Unknown’- “Why is the food so good here?” Mozambique evokes images of idyllic beaches and rich cultures, yet it’s the food that makes visitors mouth’s water and sets their hearts on fire. With a fusion of African, Arab and Portuguese (and more) cuisines, Mozambique is famous for its freshly-caught seafood cooked with rich spices and it’s fiery Piri Piri.
Inspired by the ultimate travel chef Anthony Bourdain, here are four colourful food experiences that explain why Mozambique’s food is ‘so good’:
Fiery Piri Piri
Piri Piri has grown from its Portuguese roots into a uniquely Mozambican version that takes its history and the richness and diversity of the country into account. Try chicken grilled over coals and basted with Piri Piri and citrus, and feel the flavours seep into your senses. It usually comes with chips and is locally known as ‘Frango Grelhado’.
There is much to be said for enjoying line fish, calamari, and giant crayfish straight out of the ocean and prepared with Portuguese and Arabic influenced flavours. Mozambican seafood is a staple for many of the local people.
As Bourdain said, enjoy “fish rubbed with salt, lemon, pepper, garlic butter and grilled over charcoal or mouth-watering calamari battered and fried to crispy perfection.”
You also can’t come to Mozambique without trying the incredibly sized crayfish and prawns. Prawns Nacional is a favourite served with beer sauce.
Just as you can’t ignore the seafood, you can’t come to Mozambique without trying their Asian and Latin American influenced curries. Bourdain classifies the crab curry as “a famous fusion dish, stewed with chilli, lemon, garlic, cardamom and coriander.” In all, Bourdain describes Mozambican curries as “a dizzying Afro-Portuguese, Latin American, Pan-Arab, Indian mix.”
Fresh local flavours
But the best place to get to the heart of Mozambican cuisine is in their colourful markets. Local staples such as sweet coconut milk and sugar cane, peanuts and cashew nuts and cassava are found in dishes like matapa, peanut curry, matoritor and Badjia.
All you now need to know is that ‘‘the food here is the best in Africa” – Anthony Bourdain.
Discover the tastes of Mozambique in Dana Tours’ new Flavours of Mozambique food tour.
Image Credit – Travel Channel