Mozambican cooking is full of spicy flavours and fresh tropical ingredients. It’s a destination known for its multi-layered culture and the different influences are best experienced through food. Visitors can’t resist touring Mozambique’s culinary hotspots where they can taste it all!
Keep things local
The best way to experience Mozambique’s food culture and customs is to keep it local. South African travel blogger Natalie Roos writes: “The food is fresh and delicious, and you’re sure to find a great Portuguese chicken wherever you go”. Natalie recommends the Maxixe Stop Snack Bar and Tofo Tofo in (you guessed it) Tofo for “great food”. Another must-try local dish is Matapa (ground mandioca leaves and peanuts, garlic, onion and coconut milk). It’s usually served with seafood, cashew nuts and pap or bread.
Find the spice for life
Portuguese flavours are dominant in Mozambican cooking, and the most iconic must be Piri Piri spice. Fiery Piri Piri is made from the heavily heated African Bird’s Eye chilli, which gives the sauce a uniquely Mozambican flavour. Find it bottled locally at roadside and street stalls or order your Piri-Piri-cooked seafood or flame-grilled chicken ‘frango grelhado’. Each village has its own variation, so make sure to find your favourite!
Recommended: Try frango grelhado a piri piri at the aptly named Piri Piri on 24 de Julho Avenue.
Go on a culinary journey
Where better to discover the flavours and culinary culture of Mozambique than in the bustling capital, Maputo? The city is home to bustling markets where visitors can sample food and drink specialities such as fresh coconut water and sugar cane juice. The most famous Maputo market is Mercado Central. Visit for a lively atmosphere, souvenirs and a great selection of food, from fresh fish to vegetables.
“Maputo is a true melting pot of tastes, culture and people. One can really get a good sense of the culinary delights of this nation with its multi-faceted history,” promises Natalie Tenzer-Silva, Director of Dana Tours, a Mozambican specialist tour operator and ground handler. She suggests traditional street food such as badjia’s from the Mafalala neighbourhood (bean dumplings fried in oil), and coconut sweets called matoritor.
Find out more about the tastes of Mozambique and Dana Tours’ line up of day trips and foodie experiences by visiting danatours.com
Say it with seafood
Mozambique’s oceans are home to some amazing seafood delights. Line fish, calamari and giant crayfish just taste better when caught and cooked fresh, especially when grilled on the beach with a dash of lime and seasoned with spicy Piri Piri. Stephanie von Allmen General Manager of Dana Tours recommends a visit to the Maputo fish market Mercado de Peixe. “The market is a fun experience, where one can purchase their own seafood at the market first and then head to the restaurants where they will clean and prepare the fresh seafood for you to enjoy over lunch or dinner,” she adds.
A regular Gastronomy experience is held at the end of every month at FEIMA crafts market in Maputo. The food fair is focused on local dishes so visitors can get a real feel for the variety of foods on offer.
For those who want to add a dash more culture to their foodie experience, diarise the Xikafw gastronomic fair that is part of the AZGO Festival in Maputo from 16 – 19 May. The annual festival is a celebration of all thing’s music, arts, culture and food. It is a genuinely multi-cultural affair! Xikafw celebrates the different food delicacies of the country with a selection of gourmet street food.
Learn more about the festival at http://azgofestival.com/en/.