What foods are often identified as ‘African’ in London?

Many would suggest that fish and chips is used to identify the English. But after reading an interesting book titled ‘Fish and Chip’s, I took a look at the African and black community in London to discover what foods are immediately identified as African or even black?

Jollof Rice.

Jollof Rice
The origin of Jollof Rice is traceable to the Jollof tribe in the Senegambia region of West Africa. It is also called Benachin (Wolof: “one pot”).

Jollof Rice is a party favourite and is largely associated with Nigerians although it originated in the Wolof region of Gambia. Ghanaian’s and Nigerians compete with each other as to who makes the best Jollof rice but my vote goes to Nigeria on this one.

Puff Puff

Puff Puff
Puff puffs are one of the most famous snack in many African countries. In Nigeria where they are called puff puff, you can find them in every street corner.

Also known as ‘Botocoin’ by the Togolese, this party favourite is made from flour, sugar, yeast and is fried. It is loved by many West Africana especially served hot. (picture courtesy of allnigerianrecipe.com)


Couscous, the most popular dish from Morocco and North Africa, is now appreciated worldwide. Historians have different opinions as to the origin of couscous but many believe it to be either North or East Africa.

This is one of my personal favourites because it is very light and versatile. This is mainly associated with the North Africans especially the Senegalese, who serve it at their various celebrations.



This is a traditional Ghanaian recipe for a classic accompaniment of fermented maize (cornmeal) flour

This is almost exclusively associated with Ghanaians in London. However I discovered from research that it is eaten in parts of Togo, Ivory Coast and even Guyana where it is known as ‘Konkee’; interestingly, it is also eaten in parts of Jamaica. It is served with freshly ground pepper and fried fish or with stew.

Jerk chicken


Jerk Chicken
Jerk chicken is the most well-known Jamaican dish to have been exported from the island

This is predominantly associated with the Jamaicans. Jerk is a way of cooking whereby the chicken /meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture. This mixture is called the Jamaican jerk spice. This is another favourite especially at barbeques in summer time in London.


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