East Africa

Extensive trade and migrations with Arabic countries and South Asia has made East African culture unique, particularly on the coast. The main staples include potatoes, rice, matake (mashed plantains), and a maize meal that is cooked up into a thick porridge. Beans or a stew with meat, potatoes, or vegetables often accompany the porridge. Beef, goat, chicken, or sheep are the most common meats. Outside of Kenya and the horn of Africa, the stew is not as spicy, but the coastal area has spicy, coconut-based stews. This is quite unique in comparison to the central and southern parts of Africa.

Two herding tribes, the Maasai and Fulbe, have a notably different eating pattern. They do not eat very much meat, except for special occasions. Instead, they subsist on fresh and soured milk and butter as their staples. This is unusual because very few Africans consume milk or dairy products, primarily due to lactose intolerance.

The horn of Africa, which includes modern-day Somalia and Ethiopia, is characterized by its remarkably spicy food prepared with chilies and garlic. The staple grain, teff, has a considerably higher iron and nutrient content than other grain staples found in Africa. A common traditional food here is injera, a spongy flat bread that is eaten by tearing it, then using it to scoop up the meat or stew.

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