With more than 50 countries, thousands of cultures and nearly 800 million people, Africa stands to offer food travelers enough eating adventures to fill a lifetime. Africa's culinary traditions are as diverse as its terrain. From arid desert to tropical wetlands to the plains, each country's cuisine represents indigenous ingredients and traditions, as well as influences absorbed from other cultures that have moved into these areas, such as the Portuguese influence upon Angola and Mozambique.
Whereas Nigeria and the coastal parts of West Africa are fond of chilies, Senegalese food hints of French influence. The black-eyed pea is a staple of West Africa, while premium wines and teas are found in South Africa. In Northern Africa, the cooking of countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt each offer a distinct way of preparing similar dishes, such as tanginess and couscous.—Denise Purcell