What to eat on the Comoros Islands

Exploring the beautiful Comoros Islands and its stunning marine world makes for hunger-inducing work but luckily, there's plenty of traditional Comorian food, including mkatra foutra (a savoury bread), m'tsolola (fish stew), and ladu (sweet rice balls), to tickle your tastebuds. Comorian cuisine is heavily influenced by several cultures such as French, African, and Arabian, so during your island adventure, it makes sense to sample as many traditional dishes as you can. 

There are some staple local ingredients that you'll see everywhere, including plantains, coconut milk, and cassava, and some proteins that are widely used in most dishes such as meat and fish. While you should make the most of eating traditional food at restaurants and other reputable establishments, you should be careful when eating street food and never eat anything that doesn't look like it's fully cooked.   

1. Langouste a la vanille 

Originating from the islands themselves, langouste a la vanille is a seafood dish featuring South African lobsters and vanilla as the main ingredients. A very popular dish among locals and travelers alike, this hearty meal is served on a bed of greens (usually sprouts and spinach) and drizzled with vanilla sauce. Talk about decadent. 

2. Mkatra foutra 

Providing the perfect accompaniment to any curry-based dish or stew, mkatra foutra is a savory bread that's made up of flour, water, sugar, yeast, salt, coconut cream, and egg. Thought to have been brought over by traders centuries ago, this bread is now commonly eaten daily and without fuss. 

3. Mshakiki

If succulent meat is what you're after then mshakiki is the dish for you. Prepared by cutting the meat into cubes, marinating them in a combination of ginger paste, garlic paste, grated papaya, chili powder, turmeric, and lemon juice (among other ingredients), placing them onto skewers, and cooking them on a grill, this tasty treat will have your mouth watering in seconds, especially if the meat is cooked to perfection. 

5. Inafliton lemai 

Acting as both a stand-alone snack or as an accompaniment to main meals, inafliton lemai is made up of only three things - breadfruit, salt, and coconut oil - to be sliced, pan-fried, and served warm. 

6. Ladu 

Heralded from India (although the Comorian version is a little different), ladu refers to a sphere-shaped sweet treat traditionally made in times of great celebration and for festivals and special occasions. Very simple to make (the balls themselves only contain three ingredients), these ricey snacks are the perfect way to finish off a fantastic meal. 

7. Soupe faux pois 

Despite what this list might suggest, not every Comorian dish has to be hearty and heavy, and the light and fluffy soupe faux pois is the perfect example. Known as sweet pea soup, this dish serves as an entree or a main meal if you're having a larger portion, that is packed full of flavor from the spiciness coming from the cayenne and ginger to the wonderful creaminess stemming from the coconut milk.

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