The Roots Of Creole Cuisine--And Many Other Influences
The cooking of Africa is as varied as the continent is large. Along its Mediterranean coast are styles influenced by those of Spain, France, and Turkey, all of which conquered and held parts of northernmost Africa for long periods of time. The food changes on the southern side of the Sahara. The countries there still eat as they have for millennia. Centuries ago, the ancestors of most African Americans came from Central Africa, bringing with them dishes and ingredients. Enough of these entered New Orleans cooking to make Africa at least the equal of France and Spain as an influence on the local cuisine. Gumbo, jambalaya, and many other essential New Orleans dishes are clearly African.
Indeed, New Orleans Creole cooking is so African that new restaurants serving the food of present-day Africa have had a tough time getting a toehold here. A few Ethiopian restaurants have opened and closed over the years; none are currently operating. We have a few good Moroccan and Tunisian restaurants. But for the most part African restaurants are still in the future.
Click on any of the restaurants listed below for a detailed, updated review.