Zanzibar, besides being the exotic name that enchants our ears, is a major tourist destination where locals continuously offer you tours and “good price” on any number of items. But strip away the “mzungu” (whitey, aka gringo) side of the island and Zanzibar truly lives up to its name as the spice island.
Coriander, cardamom, pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, various blends of masala, and turmeric infuse every bite of food with unparalleled bursts of flavor far better than anything we’ve eaten so far in Africa.
This is partially due to its history and blen of cultures, from Swahili and Masai to Arab and Indian, all of which are present on a daily basis.
By far the best thing I’ve eaten here, though, is a local soup called “urojo”, which has, in the span of only two days, distinguished itself as my favorite soup in the entire world. A spicy mix of falafel, spiced potato, crunchy noodles, hard-boiled egg, beef skewers, salad, and chili sauce, urojo is more a meal than a soup, and its blend of flavors swirls around the mouth even when you’re not eating it, enticing you to buy more. And at 60 cents per bowl, I’ve done just that.
I tried five bowls yesterday, all from different vendors, and three the day before that. It’s a staple of my diet here, and I’ve finally found the best bowl in town, which I’m on my way to eat right now.