Is Africa the next big food trend?

Josh Schonwald says yes:

One night, after reading about sugar-cane drinks and fresh lobster skewers, I started cooking. I made a spicy okra salad, grilled shrimp piri piri and steamed vanilla pudding. The next night, Zanzibari pizzas–chapati stuffed with eggs, meat and spices. Later, I had a Mozambican seafood stew with Senegalese-style jollof rice. I started seeing it.

Zanzibar Pizza at Forodhani Gardens, by fabulousfabs

Zanzibar Pizza at Forodhani Gardens, by fabulousfabs

As fast-growing African nations become more prosperous, they will develop something that is rare right now–a middle class with disposable time and income. Poverty, hunger, war and sickness are why Africans–from Cameroon to Mozambique to Namibia to Congo—have been unable to develop a baobab-infused vinaigrette.

I very much enjoyed Josh’s new food book The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food, and I can recommend it for its pro-science stance, its interesting speculations, and its excellent reporting. My prediction, by the way, based on demographics, is that the next big food trend will be more from the Latino cuisines, fused with American ideas to appeal to the (North) American palate. Chipotle is but one step in this direction. Sadly, in my view most Americans have room for only a few foreign cuisines in their lives. Thai and Indian are knocking on the door of Mexican and Chinese (all in their American versions), but I do not see new contenders for that throne.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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1 Response to Is Africa the next big food trend?

  1. butforthesky says:

    Thanks for using our photo of the Zanzibar pizza stand! We’re DC locals spending a year abroad and eating our faces off. Love the blog and can’t wait to get home to our local favorites.

    From our experience, African food can only get better from where it is now. Doubt we’ll be seeing ugali on any western menus anytime soon!

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