Local food is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place. It can help you to connect with the traditions and customs of a particular area, as well as give you an insight into the local ingredients and flavors. Additionally, local food is often cheaper than eating at restaurants and can be an easy way to experience the culture and lifestyle of a region.
When traveling to Uganda or anywhere across the world, local food is a very essential part of traveling. We all know the thrill and excitement that comes with trying out new foods or cuisines wherever we visit. You have your trip planned out and everything is in order but you have no idea the different local dishes Uganda brings to the table that you could try out. Worry not! Here is a list of 5 most popular local dishes in Uganda you should try while on tour;
Matooke is a delicious traditional Ugandan dish that is made from boiled and mashed plantains. It is a staple food in Uganda. In Western Uganda, you will see miles and miles of fields with this green plantain. It is from such farms that matooke is then harvested and sent to towns for urban dwellers.
It is usually served with vegetables, meat, or fish. Sometimes, matooke will be prepared with the peelings on (Empogola), this is normally served with pork, muchomo, or any other grilled meats. Matooke is a great way to experience authentic Ugandan cuisine while visiting the country.
This dish is a must-try if you are on safari in Uganda. It is one of Uganda’s best dishes that is estimated to have originated in the Buganda Kingdom in the late 19th century by Kabaka Mwanga’s personal chef. It’s made with chicken, beef, or fish that has been cooked in a banana leaf. It’s usually served with steamed rice. Enjoy your visit to Uganda and bon appetite!
Katogo literally translates to “mixing.” It is essentially a concoction of many meals cooked together. It is a popular Ugandan dish and one of those breakfast delicacies that will start your day off in great spirits but it can also be eaten at any time of the day. This dish is worth trying because you can serve it with all sauces such as meat and beans among others. If your next tour activity involves walking, then Katogo is a meal that will get you through the day.
Kikomando, a Ugandan dish composed of beans tossed with slices of chapati, is also worth a try. For the local people, the word Kikomando is used to mean action movies like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando movie. The locals believe that when you eat this dish you become strong like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not certain if this is true but what we are most certain about is that this dish will keep you filled up for the rest of the day. Worth a try!
Rolex (Rolled eggs)
No this is not that luxury watch that you have in mind. In Uganda, a rolex is a chapati (Indian flatbread) filled with eggs, onions, tomatoes, and cabbage. It’s a quick, tasty, and cheap street food that fills you up. A rolex can be found on almost every roadside in small towns across the country for as cheap as 1500/= Ugandan shillings (0.4 USD). Yes, only in Uganda can you find a cheap rolex.
What we lined up above is just icing on the cake. Uganda has more than 50 subcultures that are closely related, but with significant norms which include food. If you love food as we do and like to discover new foods wherever you go then we suggest that do some research before your trip or get in touch with us and we will show you around or take you to places that offer exactly what you are looking for.
This article is just an introduction to some of the popular dishes that people visiting Uganda have tried out and loved and we think that you should also try them out when you visit the country.
Like the Baganda say “ Wogenda ebulya mbwa nawe olya mbwa” translates to, “When you go to a place where people eat dogs, you also do the same” This is not to say that you should eat anything that you don’t like, no. It literally means that when you visit a place, try and fit in by doing what they do and trying their different dishes. Being open, going out of our comfort zone, and trying new things is the best way to create memories that last a lifetime.
So, when is your next visit to the ‘Pearl of African Food’ - UGANDA!