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Mozambique is Southern Africa’s answer to tropical paradise: with gorgeous beaches, turquoise sea, beautiful islands and a palm-fringed coastline, it’s the stuff travel brochures are made of (Things to do in Tofo and Inhambane town, Mozambique).

Many African countries are not known for their gourmet offerings, but Mozambique is one of the exceptions. Five hundred years of Portuguese influence, tropical fruit and plentiful fish and seafood mean that Mozambique is a foodie’s heaven.

Here are some dishes (and drinks) you should try on your next trip.

 

1. Prawns

All the seafood you’ll eat in Mozambique is delicious, but prawns are definitely the highlight: juicy and flavourful, they’re served grilled or fried, slathered in either fiery peri peri sauce or lashings of garlic, with French fries or rice.

Mozambican prawns

 

2. Matapa

This tasty traditional dish is not something you’ll always find on the menu at tourist restaurants – you’re more likely to get it if you end up staying with locals. It’s made from stewed cassava leaves (similar to spinach), ground peanuts, garlic and coconut milk. It’s either eaten on its own or with rice and prawns.

 

3. Paõ 

Found in any Mozambican market, paõ  (pronounced pow) are Portuguese white bread rolls baked in wood-fired ovens in villages.

 

4. Peri peri chicken

You’ll find peri peri chicken all over Mozambique, as well as further north in Tanzania and west in Angola (another southern African country colonised by the Portuguese). The dish consists of chicken marinated in lemon juice, garlic and a healthy dose of peri peri sauce, usually eaten with French fries.

 

5. Prego roll

There’s nothing better for a roadside snack in Mozambique than a lip-smacking prego roll: a steak covered in peri peri sauce (a fiery red sauce made with chillies, garlic and vinegar) in paõ. Simple and delicious!

 

6. Cashews

Mozambican cashews

Mozambique was once the world’s largest producer of cashews, and even though they’re not being farmed on such a wide scale anymore, there are nut trees growing all over the place. You’ll see people selling bags of cashews on the side of the road for peanuts (excuse the pun) and on the beach. While plain cashews are great, the roasted peri peri ones are even more tasty.

 

7. Fish

Buy fresh fish right off the boats on the beach all along the coast in Mozambique. It’s best to grill fish on a barbecue and eat it on the beach if possible – the ultimate seaside meal!

 

8. Tropical fruit

Mozambican mangoes in a market in Inhambane

With Mozambique’s warm, humid climate, delicious tropical fruit grows everywhere. There are papayas, coconuts, avocados and my favourite – small, sweet mangoes. Buy fruit at village markets, like the ones in Tofo or Inhambane, or on the side of the road – a big bucket of about forty mangoes goes for around 5MTs (15 US cents).

 

9. 2M

Mozambican beer - 2M

Laurentina is a great Mozambican beer, but my favourite is 2M (pronounced doish-em). There’s nothing like a few of these drunk at sunset after a perfect day on the beach.

 

10. Tipo Tinto

If you’re backpacking in Mozambique, you’re likely to suffer more than a few headaches from Tipo Tinto, the national rum. Don’t try and drink this neat! It’s best with a mixer – the local favourite is a berry-flavoured soda called Sparberry.

 

Find great accommodation anywhere in Mozambique with Getaway Accommodation or book yourself an all-inclusive Mozambique travel package here.

 



5 Responses to “10 of the best things to eat and drink in Mozambique”

  1. Janine Hoffmann

    you got them all listed perfectly…you;re making me miss Mozam…one of my favourite holiday destinations!!!

    Reply
    • Sarah

      I know the feeling! Writing this made me fantasise about plates of prawns on beautiful beaches (while it’s wintry and cold in Cape Town). Can’t wait to go back to Mozam sometime soon!

      Reply
      • Didi Engelbrecht

        Hi Sarah, we are planning a road trip to Mozambique from CPT next year in July when I can take some longer leave- maybe 2/3 weeks to drive and explore. For the past two years we have flown to our holiday destinations, but I’ve decided that we are doing a road trip next year!

        We are taking our trailer with so that we can overnight wherever we can find a camping spot along the way.
        Any advice/extra info you can share with me, will be greatly appreciated.
        Regards, Didi.

        Reply
  2. Adolph

    Sarah. You killed me. 2M (doish-em) is a great competitive beer feared by many breweries. I still find it difficult to understand why SABMiller does not want to bring 2M beer to South Africa. Perhaps they are afraid of brand cannibalism?

    Reply

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