Have a plant-based diet in Angola.. is it possible?

Angola, land of contrasts, music, dance, earth smells, nice people and colourful landscape. Angola is still a difficult country to visit and lacks in touristic infrastructures. The differences between the capital city Luanda and the rest of the country are abysmal in all aspects, so food is no exception. Angola is in south-central Africa, from its past Portuguese cuisine has significantly influenced Angolan cuisine.

Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world and has some imported vegan and vegetarian products in some supermarket at a very prohibited price and some restaurants with vegan/vegetarian options available.

But if you are visiting or traveling to another place in the country the story is completely different. You might struggle to eat, because there is not enough options if any available.

The big markets are busy places and you will need help to find them, they are located in the middle of a shanty town, there you can find seasonal fruits, vegetables, roots, some cereals (rice, flour, corn, etc..) and beans, but they don’t have much variety. In town you will find womenโ€™s selling fruits and vegetables in the street.

Outside Luanda will be quit difficult to find a supermarket with vegan options due to the lack of supply and demand, or even a restaurant that has a vegetarian or vegan option available.

If you are staying in a hotel you can make a special request, for a vegan meal, but don’t expect anything too fancy.ย If there is a possibility just cook your own meal, that will be the best solution!

Typical dishes/sides/snacks/deserts that are vegan:

  • Funge: Plain carbohydrate made from cassava with a texture like mash potato, generally served with a full-flavoured spicy sauce.
  • Farofa: Toasted cassava flour with a salty and smoky flavour.
  • Feijรฃo de รณleo de palma: Stewed beans in a palm oil sauce.
  • Mukua: Dried fruit from the baobab tree, often used for ice cream.
  • Kussangua: Traditional non-alcoholic drink made from cornflour.
  • Chikuanga:ย a bread made from manioc flour, served in a wrap of banana leaves (from northeast Angola).
  • Cocada amarela, yellow coconut pudding made with sugar, grated coconut, egg yolks, and ground cinnamon.ย (vegetarian)
  • Doce de ginguba, peanut candy.

photography โ€“ย all rights reserved โ€“ Ana Rocha

 

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