A part of our series exploring the culture of Cameroon, this blog explores some of the traditional dishes and foods that you can expect to find in the central African country. We wanted to give you an insight into the flavours that our children enjoy every day and ignite your taste buds by exploring the mouth watering dishes that Cameroon offers.
As a country with a rich culture and diverse history, it's no surprise that it's food offering is delicious. Here are just some dishes that our children enjoy:
Eru is one of the most popular national dishes in Cameroon. This vegetable soup is soft and smooth, plus it's packed with nutrients making it a delicious and healthy option. It's prepared with finely shredded eru or okok leaves, spinach and waterleaf but many people also add smoked fish and meat.
Koki is a steamed pudding-like treat that the people of Cameroon often enjoy at weddings. However, in recent years it's become a very popular street food snack! This pudding is made up of black-eyed peas and spinach, so it's the perfect balance of healthy and delicious!
These deep-fried banana fritters are often described as out of this world, and nothing short of heavenly. With a sweet, nutty taste these fried balls are often served with a hot spicy sauce to add a bit of zing to the dish. They're the perfect Cameroonian treat if you fancy a bit of indulgence.
Ekwang is one of the most traditional Cameroonian dishes on our list. It's quite a time-consuming dish to prepare, but the taste more than makes up for it. This dish is particularly popular in South-West Cameroon but is traditionally a Nigerian dish. Wrap grated cocoyam in greens like spinach or lettuce and cook it with smoked meat, fish and an abundance of spices that will delight the taste buds. The nutty flavour of the cocoyam leaves combined with the spices and meat make it a deliciously rich but also nutritious dish.
Ndole is a traditional Cameroonian stew made from peanuts, spinach and bitter leaves. It's an aromatic take on comfort food that will leave you craving more. It's a very versatile dish which can be prepared in many different ways depending on taste. Usually, shrimps, prawns, beef and crayfish are added to enhance the flavour. It's often eaten as a side but is usually considered the star of most parties in Cameroon; it's not a party unless Ndole is served! In fact, it's so irresistible and so highly regarded that it's earned the title of Cameroon's national dish!
Born House Planti
This porridge-like dish is traditionally eaten in Cameroon to celebrate the birth of a newborn; it's sweet, thick and starchy. This is a one-pot plantain dish, cooked with palm oil, spices and leafy greens. Legend has it that this dish is made of plantain, as the plantains grow they are eaten to bless the baby.
Puff Puff and Beans
Another delicious street food you can find in Cameroon. Puff Puff and beans are essentially fried balls made from yeast, sugar and dried beans but beautifully seasoned with ginger, celery, garlic and parsley. They're deliciously crispy but also soft and spicy making them the perfect treat when you're walking around Cameroon's major cities.
Fufu Corn and Njama Njama
Imagine a vegetable soup but with plenty of traditional Cameroonian spices! Full of leafy greens, tomatoes, onions and bouillon cubes as well as spices like paprika and cayenne pepper this dish is the perfect blend of spicy and healthy.
For a treat which is high in protein, Egusi soup is a great option. Like Cameroon's rich culture and history, this soup has a mixture of different tastes. It's made with ground melon seeds which make it sweet and nutty but leafy greens give it a bitterness. Plus adding meat or fish can add some richness to the dish.
Every good meal ends in dessert and so it felt right to finish our list with a sweet treat. Vitumba is a sweet delight in Cameroon, it's a sweet pancake or doughnut which is made with coconut flavour and caramel sauce. These little treats may seem hard at first but when you take a bit they truly melt in the mouth and the fluffy texture takes over. The caramel dip also adds an extra element of luxury to the dish.
We hope that this list of Cameroonian treats has left your mouth watering, and helped you learn a little more about the traditions and culture of this fascinating country. You can learn so much about a country from its traditional cuisine, and Cameroon's varied range of food truly represents its rich culture and history.
If you'd like to learn more about sponsoring a child from Cameroon and helping to support them through education then take a look at our sponsorship page. You could help children in Cameroon to reach their dreams and break out of the poverty cycle.