Kenya tastes like

passion fruit. Which I can’t get enough of. This might be my second favorite fruit, after mangosteen. Good with yogurt for breakfast, but I like scooping their juicy innards and seeds directly into my mouth with the aid of a spoon. In Tiwi, they had this yellow variety that were racquetball-sized and twice as delicious.

Kenya also tastes like the best avocado you ever had, times five. Plus, avocados here cost maybe 10 cents each.

And Kenya tastes a little like ostrich (which is to say surprisingly tender and beefy). I had some of that at Tamambo, the fancy place in Nairobi that specializes in Kenyan cuisine (though somehow I think kachos, or the Kenyan nachos on their menu, might not be traditional.) And Kenya definitely tastes like samosas (more on those later).

Tiwi (near Mombasa, in the south) is actually where we did the best eating. The beach house we rented allowed us the option of hiring a cook. Every day, the locals would walk by to sell us whatever they caught in the ocean that morning. Ali worked his magic and made us stewed octopus (Ali and the doomed cephalopod above, pre-stewing), as well as

fried fish (with sauteed chard and boiled potatoes)

(which we ate, like all our other meals, on the porch, right by the beach. As you can see here, I also drank plenty of Stoney, the local ginger beer. Tangawizi = ginger in Swahili.),

chile-ginger crab (with avocado salad, more chard, and fries),

chapati [There’s a woman who wanders past the house every morning carrying a basket of samosas, coconut fritters, and chapati on her head. We had been planning to get some chapati on our last morning at the beach, but, luckily for us, she ran out, and we discovered that Ali’s cooking skills extend to chapati-making as well. Best chapati ever. Hands-down.

A samosa aside: the sizeable Indian population in Kenya seems to have made samosas ubiquitous in the country. You can get them everywhere, from the basket on some lady’s head at the beach to the airport snack counter.]

with scrambled eggs for breakfast,

and shrimp, fried and with tomatoes.


1 Response to “Kenya tastes like”

  1. 1 Cathy August 23, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Pray, do go on! I’m swooning over Kenya right now — how come you were there? Just found your site from Eat Drink One Woman (my favorite). Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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