World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits South Africa in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, October 20, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.
South Africa's unique culture - and complex history - shines through in everything the 'rainbow nation' does. Even the country's foodways reflect the diverse demographics of people that call the southernmost point of Africa home.
Before the Suez Canal was excavated, Europeans had to sail around Africa to get to Asia for the silk and spice trades. The journey was so long that explorers often ran out of fresh food and water, resulting in scurvy and oftentimes death.
Coastal city Cape Town was established as a logical restocking point, and was soon settled by a number of different European nationalities, including the Portuguese, Dutch and British.
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic renaissance is fueling an investment drive by fast food joints looking to tap the continent's growing middle class.
The likes of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Domino's pizza are opening up in African growth markets from Nigeria to Angola to give consumers a taste of U.S. cuisine.
Elias Schulze, managing partner of The Africa Group, a boutique Africa-focused investment consultancy, said U.S. takeout stores are rapidly becoming "aspirational brands" for cosmopolitan Africans with disposable income.
He said: "An upwardly mobile, confident, Western-leaning and young consumer class bodes well for an American burger boom."
And the battle for the African market is well underway. This year, Yum! Brands - owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut - is expanding into Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
When Ahmed Jama decided to leave behind the successful restaurant he'd started in London to open a new one in one of the world's most dangerous cities, his hometown of Mogadishu, reactions ranged from surprise to scorn to straightforward questioning of his sanity.
"A lot of people think that I am a crazy guy," says the Somali chef, his wiry figure looming over roasting pans full of vegetables and meat inside his downtown Mogadishu eatery.
"When I opened this restaurant they could not believe it," he remembers. "When I came here and bought the land some people told me, 'you are not coming back, come back when you're ready' - I said, 'I am going to build it soon.'"
While staying in the beach town of Mombasa, Kenya, iReporter Brian Oh biked approximately 15 miles through the countryside to reach this village, where he was offered a traditional Kenyan lunch. He says he was intoxicated by "the fresh smell of soil everywhere and the sweetness of mango and banana on the air. It was serene and almost primeval." After eating the meal with his bare hands, he left the family with $11 equivalent in Kenyan shillings and biked back to his hotel in Mombasa. – jccarp, CNN iReport producer
Oh told iReport:
World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, June 9, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.
"Good food is going to be a challenge soon, so we take the opportunity to fill up on what we can," Anthony Bourdain says, fueling up at a local restaurant before leaving Goma. This city in the Democratic Republic of Congo lies at the foot of the Nyiragongo Volcano and has a population of about one million people - many of whom are internally displaced.
Grilled chicken, ugali and piri piri pepper make “a pretty nice meal," Bourdain finds.
CNN's Nima Elbagir is treated to a traditional meal of roasted goat while visiting with the Maasai of Northern Tanzania.
Read more at CNN Africa
Not so long ago, if you ordered a cup of coffee in South Africa you needed to specify "filter" to avoid getting instant.
A decade ago, there was no cafe culture, nowhere to go for a flat white and certainly no expectation of locally roasted beans.
Those days are gone. Specialist coffee shops did nearly four times the business here in 2012 as in 2007.
See more from Inside Africa
Previously - The Blaxican truck brings the best of both worlds
Low-income households in Egypt are being hit by soaring food prices, placing a major strain on many poor families in the country, who are struggling to put basic staples on the table.
Inside a small Cairo apartment, Howeida Nageh is dicing a few tomatoes in her kitchen. Her three sons have arrived home from school and they are hungry. Yet, the only food available is these tomatoes and a piece of bread - and this will be the boys' only meal for the day.