What kind of meals is the most widespread on Madagascar? What are popular drinks, which every tourist should taste? Read the article to learn the facts about traditional cuisine on Madagascar.
Madagascar foods and drinks
Traditional cuisine on Madagascar is presented by not really hot dishes, but it should be taken into account that here give some rather hot sauces to some of them. It should be noted that in Antananarivo (the capital of the island) and resort places like Nozibe you will spend more money for Madagascar food, than in the places located in rural areas.
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The Malagasy cuisine was created under the influence of African and Malayan gastronomic traditions, but on the island the great popularity was recently acquired by dishes, which are cooked with Arab and European, and in particular, French manners. Food in Madagascar consists of rice, corn, meat, fish, seafood (spiny lobsters, oysters, sea hedgehogs, shrimps, and crabs), vegetables and dairy products.
Madagascar national food is a unique phenomenon. Firstly, on Madagascar there are a lot of plants, which you won't meet in other countries. There is absolutely unique flora and fauna. Secondly, other people didn't exert impact on culinary traditions of Madagascar long time, because the island was isolated from the rest of the world.
Madagascar food facts
It would seem this is Africa, but if to try to understand history of cookery, you realize that most of all Madagascar borrowed from French, for example, surprising and unexpected combinations of products. Though, of course, attentive tasters will find traces of the African and Arabian cuisine too.
Basis of the Malagasy cuisine is rice. Here more than 10 types are grown. Also local people cook salads, puddings, bake pies and pancakes from rice flour. Very important component of dishes is meat. There are practically no cows on Madagascar, but it is a lot of humpbacked antelopes – zebu. Their meat is eaten by inhabitants of the island. They also don't neglect pork. Mostly meat is stewed in various sauces. And for sauces, local spices and herbs are used. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to cook Madagascar dishes outside the island – you just won't find necessary ingredients. And if you will try to replace it, it will be absolutely other food.
Of course, on Madagascar a lot of fishes and seafood is eaten. Often Europeans are surprised how local can cook seafood with meat as one dish. But actually it is an ancient African tradition, and the taste is not as terrible as it seems. It is even very tasty. Vegetables and greenery are very popular: from pepper to leaves of cassava.
On Madagascar, it is necessary to enjoy taste of:
- white stewed fish with tomatoes and zucchini (trondro gasi),
- salad, in which main ingredients are carrots, bean and cabbage (lasarikaraoti),
- fried beef with tomatoes, ginger and onions (romazava),
- pork stewed with nut Bambara (voandzhoburi),
- beans with sauce on the basis of tomatoes (tsaramasa),
- salad on the basis of rice, spices and shrimps (anana),
- local goose liver,
- beef with mashed potatoes from leaves of a cassava and a coco (ravitoto).
On the island, dishes cooked on the basis of meat of zebu are widespread. Therefore, it is worth trying zebu dish, which is given with tomato and garlic sauce. Meat of zebu fried on coals with fragrant herbs, which are also widespread. And sweet teeth can order for a dessert coconut or rice puddings, fruits (cocoas, bananas, treat, pineapples, guava, and mango) and various pies with sweet things.
Popular drinks of Malagasies are ranonapango (boiled water + slightly burned rice), capris (various carbonated drinks), coffee (locals prefer to use Ethiopian and Yemen grades), fruit juice, mineral water, beer, wine, rum, toakagasy (local alcohol drink cooked on the basis of rice or a sugar cane). Having a rest on the island, it is worth trying dark rum, white rum, flash (local beer), and wine.
Having gone to gastronomic round to Madagascar, you will visit rice and wheat fields in villages, where owners will treat you with national dishes and drinks. You can also organize a trip to national park of Isalo and have a picnic in green oasis.
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