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Ultimate Food Guide For Traditional Cameroon Food

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Traditional Cameroon foods are a very sophisticated dishes thanks to the use of a mixture of spices that creates the most epic meals. The country has a mix of different ethnicities and cultures that makes room for eclectic dishes. The food in Cameroon is influenced by German, French and Portuguese; however, the country stays true to tradition as it has continued to offer a rich cultural center with the variety traditional food.

The West-Central African country very popular for its bilingualism (English and French) and often referred to as Africa in miniature, because of its very diverse culture. Among all these different cultures, the Cameroon has been rather popular and loved worldwide due to the traditional foods.

Food plays an important role in different parts of the country, to celebrate marriage or upcoming events. In this article, we are going to be looking at the best traditional cameroon foods.

Why Traditional Cameroon Foods?

I was born in the Northwest region of Cameroon and have spent the most part of my teen life traveling the different regions of the country. One of the most interesting things you will find in the different regions of Cameroon is the unique local dishes and the methods of preparing the traditional food.

Most locals still choose to cook with traditional methods; with grinding stones, with leaves and firewood. It’s believed that this traditional method adds more flavor to the food. The taste is relaxing, rich and very enticing. If you’re looking to go for a Cameroon vacation a taste of suya, meat pie and puff will make fall in love with the country.

17 Best Foods in Cameroon

Tourist and digital namads will find in this list the some of the most popular food in Cameroon. Now fasten your seat belt because the trip will be fun. The list below is in no particular order. This is not a sponsored list, it is strictly based on my experiences as a local indigene of Cameroon who is very fun of the Traditional Cameroon Food!

1. Banana Malaxé

This dish is a traditional Cameroonian stew aslo called topsy bananas. Even though it has a variety, the stew is often cooked with a combination of bouillon cubes, palm oil, garlic, tomatoes, peanuts, chili, spring onions, shrimp ginger, salt, and raw plantains.

These ingredients covered with water after being sautéed in palm oil, and fully cooked by leaving it to simmer until it becomes tender. The sauce will thicken as the light stew cools down. If you like, you can add chicken or beef for a different texture and flavor. This is the best food in Cameroon according to most tourist!

2. Ndolé

It is somewhat the most popular food in Cameroon. Tourist can find Ndole in almost all banquets and ceremonies. When digital nomads are asked what they like most about their Cameroon vacation, they often mention Ndole.

It’s a traditional duala dish from one of Cameroon coastal regions. Ndole is a peanut stew cooked with bitter leaves (equally called ndolé leaves), spices, beef, and crab. Served with plantains or miondo a mixture of grind cassava tied in banana leaves.

3. Egusi Pudding

This dish made from melon seeds also called Egusi in Cameroon is a savory pudding. If cakes had a savory sister, then here it is! In French it’s Called Met de Pistaches, this meal is mainly made during wedding ceremonies and New Year's Eve. It is believed that it can predict the success of a wedding or a year by many Cameroon ethnic groups like the Bantous, it all depends on the texture, the leaves and taste of the cooked pudding.

4. Fufu and Eru

One of the best food in Cameroon, after Ndolé. You can find Mami Eru in almost every market; with mami eru (as referred to in the local pidgin language; for mother or mother who sells fufu and eru). This meal is the traditional dish of Cameroon’s southwestern and northwestern regions.

The soup consists of Eru leaves (Gnetum africanum) stewed alongside spinach (locally referred to as water leaf), dried prawns, and smoked fish, palm oil, beef skin (known in pidgin as canda) or beef. The soup is served alongside water fufu (slightly, soured, boiled and crushed cassava) or garri (food ingredient of granulated flour made from fried grind cassava).

5. Ekwang

The preparation can be tedious, but it's definitely worth it. The magic takes place when grated cocoyam is tied to cocoyam leaves and cooked with palm oil, shrimp and dried fish. My mom usually cooked this meal for the family during birthday anniversaries and family gatherings. Many tourist and digital nomads recommended this meal as their best food in Cameroon.

6. Mbongo Tchobi

While some may fall in love with the attractive gray-black color of mbongo tchobi, equally referred to as black stew, this meal is often a savory dish usually made with meats such as lamb, tomatoes, fish, and onions, Beef or lamb, a spicy seasoning referred to as njansa, alligator pepper, and along with hiomi (bongo tree trunk).

The name Mbongo also refers to the spices used in cooking the dish. After the stew has cooked for the recommended amount of time, Mbongo is traditionally served hot alongside cooked plantains.

7. Koki Beans

Trust me when I say this is the most inventive way to prepare black eye peas. It's a bite that almost melts in your mouth and is divine when tagged with cooked plantains. Tourist can find Koki beans in most local restaurants and is highly recommended for those visiting Cameroon for the first time.

8. Okok

In Cameroon, three different ethnic groups prepare three types of Okok meals. The ethnic groups are the Yabassi, Eton and Bassa. The two most common are Eton and Bassa. Nerd or curiosity fact: Gnetum africanum is the scientific name of okok, yes, eru as seen above. The same leaf, but with different designations is the reason for this.

It is locally known as Eru in Cameroon’s northwestern and southwestern regions, but as Okok in the coastal, central and southern regions. Palm nut and Peanut juice-based stews are the last two Okok meals, with the seasoning being the only difference. Bassa okok is boiled with canda (beef) and also cooked with smoked beef or fish, while Etonian okok also contains some sugar and salt.

9. Poivre de penja

Originating from the Koupé Manengouba and Moungo parts of Cameroon, Poivre de penja is a traditional pepper. Piper nigrum berries produces the spice, a plant having an intense and pungent flavor. Varieties present are red, black, white and green peppers. Poivre de penja ranges in size from small to medium to large.

It has a heavy, musky and woody aroma, with a spicy and warm scent. The aroma of spices and pepper is produced by the green pepper, strong smell for the black pepper and pungent taste, white pepper has a strong smell and pungent, astringent taste, while the red pepper equally has a pungent taste, astringent and intense as well.

10. Sanga

Originating from the central and southern regions of Cameroon Sanga is a vegetable in a pot dish. Typical ingredients include zoom (nightshade leaves), fresh corn grains, sugar and palm nut juice. Though the fresh corn and vegetables add a sweet aspect, several people still prefer to add sugar to this dish.

11. Corn chaff

Made with beans and corn as the main ingredients Corn chaff is a delicious Cameroonian stew. Maize and beans are slow cooked with ingredients such as tomatoes, palm oil, onions, various smoked meat or fish, and spices based on personal preference, although fish and meat can be left off the dish.

12. Njama njama

Equally known scientifically as Solanum scabrum or as blueberry, is Cameroon’s most popular vegetables. It is usually served with maize fufu (finely grind maize), but equally with boiled bananas or ripe plantains. It can be very costly to cook in the dry season when vegetable supply is limited. It is a staple meal considered as the favorite dish of most tourists.

13. Kondre

Consisting of spices, tomatoes, onions, bananas, and meat such as lamb, pork, or chicken, Kondre is one of the two national dishes of Cameroon. Kondre is a ceremonial dish Derived from Bafang and mostly reserved for special occasions such as funerals, baby showers, and weddings. It’s a hot, thick soup that resembles butternut squash stew. With its unique appearance and taste, Kondre is guaranteed to stay as Cameroonian staple meal.

14. Groundnut Soup

A soup made by blending fried groundnuts in a food processor. People in central and southern Cameroon traditionally prepare this soup with few ingredients: groundnut paste, mbounga (a type of smoked fish), or pepper (optional), ginger, garlic, onion, and chicken. Mbounga and chicken work best in groundnut soup because they blend in well with the groundnut paste flavor. Groundnut soup is best served with boiled plantains or rice, often pounded.

15. Achu Soup

Achu soup is made from cooked and crushed cocoyam, spices, water, canwa (limestone), and palm oil, traditionally cooked and eaten by the people of Ngemba of the north western region of Cameroon. The soup turns yellow with Palm oil, which is why Achu soup is equally called as yellow soup. Usually accompanied by fish or beef, which can be stewed, grilled or smoked when served.

16. Okro Soup

At least seven in ten people will probably have this soup in the basket when they visit the sick in the hospital. It’s believed that patients consume it easily because of its sticky nature, though it’s mainly because it is very healthy. This lively soup is made with okro (known as sauce gombo in french), pepper (optional), onions, garlic, a little oil, tomatoes, and smoked crab, meat, or fish. Depending on the cook, some people may want to add egusi (melon seeds) to the soup. Traditionally eaten with the fingers Okro soup is served with fufu.

17. Ndomba

Made with fish, pork or chicken as the main ingredient, Ndomba is a spicy papillote. Depending on the Ndomba you are cooking, the spices used may vary. For example, fish Ndomba contains pèb, pepper (optional but main ingredient), white pepper, mesep (wild bacteria), garlic, country onions, black pepper, akpi seeds, and onions The result is surprisingly delicious and is served with a tuber of your choice like bobolo, or plantain.

There are so many different dishes and so many ways to use the main ingredients. Cameroon is a country truly blessed with good food. I made this write up in honor of the traditional Cameroonian foods and to let tourist and digital nomad worldwide know that they’re missing out on a lot if they’ve never eaten a traditional Cameroon food.

Bottom Line

The secret to enjoying the most popular food in Cameroon is not just in the way it is cooked. It equally depends on the unique ingredients: dried shrimp called écrevisses in French, habanero pepper, bouillon cubes, red palm oil, smoked fish, dried local spices (tree bark, seeds, leaves) and much more.

Which of these foods calls you by your name?

Let us know in the comment section! And if you are looking to go for a Cameroon vacation and need guide or just curious to cook one of the best food in Cameroon yourself, then contact us today through our about us page and an agent will be in touch.


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