FOREIGN INFLUENCES IN NORTH AFRICAN CUISINE
Sheila R. Vitale founded Christian publisher Living Epistles Ministries in 1988. She serves as the ministry’s pastor, teacher, and manager. An avid traveler, Sheila R. Vitale enjoys a variety of dishes from all over the world, including African cuisine.
At over 30 million square kilometers, Africa ranks as the second largest continent, consisting of central, east, north, south, and west regions. Spanning such a vast area, different parts of the continent experience a varying range of climates, thus affecting the key ingredients for each region’s dishes and contributing to the rich diversity of African cuisine.
Further contributing to the diversity of the cuisines is the influence of foreign countries, particularly in North Africa, where centuries of trade, invasion, and migration have had a substantial impact. For example, the Arabs introduced spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, while the Ottoman Turks brought with them sweet bread and other pastries. Couscous, one of the region’s staples, is an indirect influence of nomadic Berbers.