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Some food experiments on Tanzanians

Some Vegemite arrived in the post recently, thanks to a generous supporter, and we figured it was a good opportunity to try it out on our Tanzanian friends. We were surprised that they loved it! Cheese, on the other hand, earned polite distaste.


Meanwhile, I cooked up some dagaa, tiny little dried fish from lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi), but with mango rather than the traditional tomatoes and onion. Despite the abundance of mango, Tanzanians don’t cook with it, they only eat them raw. However, that could change! It turned out that the mango dagaa were a hit and I got requests for instructions on how to cook it!

Other recent hits have been multigrain bread (Tanzanian bread is typically white and very dry), and eggplant slice. This was a version on zucchini slice, but using the vegetable that was in season. I got myself a bit confused trying to explain the difference between a cake, a slice and a muffin. Tanzanians call pretty much anything baked a cake, whether or not it’s sweet.

Categories: Tanzania Uncategorized Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

3 replies

  1. Re the differences – a combination of the pan used and the texture/density? i.e. cake- cooked in a larger, higher, tin; ligher in texture. Slice – cooked/made in a longer and much flatter tin; may not need to be cooked, usually denser (e.g. caramel slice) but not always (e.g. zucchini slice which is more like quiche). Muffin – due to the tin, but also slightly denser than cake with perhaps more raising agent. Hmm, will have to think about this further.

    And it would be hard to explain!

    1. I’ll give it to you now!

      2 small eggplants (or one big one), grated
      4 eggs
      1 cup cheese (optional – see above dislike of cheese!)
      2 large onions
      1/2 cup oil
      1 cup flour
      2t baking powder
      pinch of salt
      shake of paprika

      Mix it all up together, pop in a greased tin and bake 30-40 mins or until risen in the middle. :)

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