Cameroonian cuisine is one of the most varied in Africa due to its location on the crossroads between the north, west, and center of the continent; the diversity in ethnicity with mixture ranging from Bantus, Semi-bantus and Shua-Arabs. Added to this is the influence of German colonialisation and later the French and English annexation of different parts of the country.
Staple foods in Cameroon include cassava, yams, rice, plantain, potato, sweet potatoes, maize, beans, millet, a wide variety of cocoyams, and many vegetables.
The French introduced French bread which is widely consumed and a breakfast staple in the French-speaking parts of Cameroon, while in the English speaking parts, British plain pan-loafs locally called “Kumba bread” and a less rich form of dinner rolls are very common. The main source of protein for most inhabitants is fish; poultry and beef are also eaten. Bush meat was commonly consumed, some of the most sought-after species being the pangolin, the porcupine and the giant rat, though because of rarity these are looked upon now as delicacies. There is also a thriving illegal trade in endangered bush meat species such as chimpanzee and gorilla.
Given that Cameroon was colonised repeatedly, New World staples were introduced several centuries ago, as well as European cooking techniques and culture. It is also influenced by its geography, with distinct differences between its North and South regions. Cameroon is made up of over 250 ethnic groups and cuisine differs between ethnic group and also by region.
Cameroonian National Dishes
Ndolé is a Cameroonian dish consisting of stewed nuts, ndoleh (bitter leaves indigenous to West Africa) and fish or beef.
The dish may also contain shrimp or prawns. It is traditionally eaten with plantain, bobolo (a Cameroonian dish made of fermented ground manioc or cassava and wrapped in leaves), etc.