The elegant Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge recently introduced new restaurant menus with dishes and flavors inspired by the eclectic cuisine of Tanzania.
One of the most fun aspects of traveling for many people is the opportunity to try the local cuisine. In Tanzania this can vary from region to region. In coastal Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar island, spicy foods are common, often flavored with coconut milk harvested straight from the palm.
However, on the mainland dishes vary quite a bit. Among the typical foods are wali (rice), ugali (maize porridge), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki (marinated beef), samaki (fish), pilau (rice mixed with a variety of spices), biriyani, and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat).
Vegetables commonly used in Tanzania include bamia (okra), mchicha (a kind of spinach) and kisamvu (cassava leaves). There are at least 17 different types of bananas grown in Tanzania, used variously for soup, stew and chips.
So that guests can sample some of these local favorites, each of the Elewana Collection properties in East Africa features a Swahili-themed evening each week.
But Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge is diving even deeper into local cuisine with a brand-new menu that incorporates ingredients native to the region such as cassava, air-potato (Dioscorea bulbifera), and rare kweme or oysternut (Telfairia pedata), which is only found in Tanzania and northern Mozambique.
Elewana was approached by Slow Food Tanzania to help place kweme on the global culinary map by using it as an ingredient in their lodges and hotel kitchens. Arusha Coffee Lodge is one of the first manifestations of that policy, dishes with a tantalizing combinations of local flavors and textures to stimulate your senses.