Food is one item you must get right when ticking your bucket list for a vacation. For all the excitement you can possibly get on your tours, what goes into your stomach while on a vacation is as important as anything else.
Recently, Kenya was named as one of the 50 Countries with Best Foods. And this was no fluke. Even Africa’s largest country – Nigeria – did not make the list.
Now, of all the over-thirty-something foods in the East African country, here are 10 major foods you should explore the next time you land in Kenya.
You can be excused for mistaking this meal for efo riro, one of Nigeria’s dishes popular in the Yoruba-speaking parts of the country. But Irio is a kikuyu staple that has become a national anthem for an average Kenyan. It is a mash of tastefully garnished peas and potatoes, all combined to give that lip-smacking feel.
Some people have branded Irio as one Kenyan food you must eat before you die. Call it the perfect gateway to the soul of Kenya, and you won’t be wrong.
When the conversation shifts to real, yummy sausage, you can’t forget the Kenyan Mutura. Rich in protein, the Mutura is made of thickened goat blood and ground meat stuffed into the intestines of a goat. After boiling for few hours, the mixture is then barbecued over an open grill to give it that smoky flavor. Love adventure with foods? This is your perfect deal.
If you belong to the category of persons who struggle with a runny stomach upon eating beans, the Kenyan Githeri is your perfect jinx breaker. It is a lovely blend of kidney beans and maize boiled and later stewed to give you the much needed fiber for better metabolism.
Social events in Kenya are never complete until this traditional delicacy shows up on the table. It is made with peas, pumpkin leaves, corn, potatoes and onions. It is a rich, one-dish meal that offers virtually all your daily nutritional requirements.
Heavy foods are usually not your best bet when you truly want to explore and take in all the nuances of a vacation. So the Kenyan Mandazi is a delicious snack ideal for breakfast or just when you want to keep your mouth busy. With an inviting aroma from miles away, you are likely to make frequent stops at Kenyan streets just to have a bite.
#6. Grilled Maize
True, grilled maize is one food you find virtually in most African cities. But the Kenyan version offers a unique dimension altogether. Whether you prefer the maize to burst like your popcorn or blacken into a brittle crisp, a chilled lime salt sauce is on hand to give that remarkable experience.
#7. Nyama Choma
Nyama Choma is one Kenyan delicacy you can’t afford to miss. It is a roasted meat barbecued over a grill made from metal rail that hangs over a couch of charcoal. While some people prefer the beef or chicken variant, Nyama Choma made with goat meat offers that meaty, exciting burst of everything natural.
This food is a special staple of the Kilisi community in the South-west region of Kenya. It is made from steamed green banana and it goes pretty well with a sauce of well-chopped onions, fresh tomatoes, milled cloves of garlic and vegetables.
Even though you are likely to find this food in Tanzania, it is one delicacy that turns head any day. It is a glorified recipe of rice with flavor-rich ingredients such as cinnamon, cardamom and cumin. Just like the Matoke, Kenyan Pilau is best served with a meat stew of fresh tomatoes and onions.
The sound of the name alone gives this delicacy some street credibility. It is a Kenyan red beans broiled with coconut milk and spicy ingredients. It’s all good if you prefer chicken seasoning to coconut milk. At face value, this food looks like ewa agonyi, a popular bean mash popular in Nigeria and often eaten with bread, plantain and skin hide (ponmo). But Maharagwe is a sure meal that makes your taste buds come alive.
Trust me, there are cool packages that allow you enjoy choice meals, all for free in Kenya. Click here to see more.