West and Central Africa

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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The main common factor among the foods of the culturally and linguistically different peoples of this vast region is that the starch content of meals, whether it is rice in the west, millet or maize in the north, or plantain, yam, or cassava in the south and the east, is considered to be ‘real food’, while sauces or stews are there to help it down.

The coastal countries of W. Africa, from north to south, are Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon. The inland countries are the Central African Republic, the Congo Republic, Congo (was Zaire).