Feast! Nyama choma in Kenya, outdoor braai in Namibia and Ethiopian etiquette

2018-04-02T06:34:54-05:00November 15th, 2017|

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re exploring feasts across the Kusini Collection globe. This divine table is set in the Serengeti.
Photo courtesy Axel Janssen’s mobile dining experience.

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and that has us thinking about feasting! Time spent gathered around the table sharing special dishes with loved ones warms our hearts. This week, we’ll explore some of the festive dishes (with linked recipes!) treasured by the cultures represented by the Kusini Collection…


The list of ingredients is long, but the results are worth it!

Tropic Ecuador: Tropic Ecuador tells us that eating fanesca during Easter is a treasured custom of every Quiteño. Unique to Ecuador, the history of the dish is unclear – perhaps invented during colonial times or possibly pre-Hispanic. During holy week, markets arrange their ingredients according to the ingredients of the soup to make purchases easier. In preparation for fasting for Lent, the dish is “conceived to preclude such a fast, and flagrantly at that.” Every family’s recipe differs (here’s one from Nan magazine), but one thing is certain – everyone will leave full!

Traditional Ethiopian food is a feast for the senses

Travel Ethiopia: For those not familiar with it, traditional Ethiopian food can seem a bit intimidating on first blush, but adventurous diners are rewarded with exotic and deliciously spiced dishes. The cuisine is friendly to omnivores and vegetarians alike. There are a few rules of etiquette when dining in Ethiopia that most Westerners might be unaware of, but for helpful pointers from Travel Ethiopia, visit our blog. Along with some enlightening information on mealtime etiquette, you can find a recipe for doro wat, a spicy chicken dish stewed in berbere spice. It is one of Ethiopia’s most famous meals, and one that is served at most holiday celebrations.

All Namibians agree – fireside dining is the most magical!

Ultimate Safaris: Nothing tastes much better than food cooked over live fire, and in Southern Africa, probably every meal (not just special occasions) would be cooked that way if possible. At Ultimate Safaris’ new ‘Under Canvas‘ camps, guests have the chance to savor a three course meal prepared solely over an open fire. Namibia’s clear skies means everyone looks for any reason to BBQ outside, eat outside and drink outside – and beer is a must! An Under Canvas feast might start with stuffed gem squash, followed by marinated beef filet and vegetables and topped off with apple crumble – all under the stars!

The team at New Frontiers won’t pass up a holiday
Malva pudding

New Frontiers: South African holiday feasts can be quite “British traditional” in the sense that many people bring out all the bells and whistles which include a turkey (or duck), roast beef, traditional mince pies, glazed ham, yellow rice and raisins, vegetables like sweet butternut or pumpkin and a very traditional pudding like Malva pudding or a trifle. Malva pudding is a sweet pudding of Cape Malay origin. It contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. A cream sauce is often poured over it while it is hot, and it is usually served hot with custard and/or ice cream. Ready for dessert? Find the recipe here.

Tamales are a holiday treat in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Sun Tours: Tamales are the traditional go-to meal to celebrate the December holidays with family and friends in Costa Rica. Given this is the only time of year when they are prepared, locals can tend to get tamale loco! Traditionally, the whole family takes part in preparing and cooking the tamales… always making extra to share when visiting with family and friends, to give as gifts, and to bring to seasonal parties and social events. Visit our blog for a recipe from Costa Rica Sun Tours, as well as some insider tips!

A holiday isn’t a holiday in Kenya without nyama choma

Albatros Travel: Certain foods are considered celebratory or are a ‘must’ at festive occasions in Kenya. Albatros Travel tells us that any Kenyan holiday feast is not complete without a platter of nyama choma (roasted meat). Goat and beef are the two most common proteins served, but chicken (kuku choma) and fish (samaki choma) are also valid choices. Nyama choma is served with Kenya’s most common food staple – ugali, (a bit like grits) and kachumbari, a tomato salsa. Read more about Kenya’s celebratory foods on our blog.

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