A typical dish in Madagascar consists of a very generous portion of rice or ro (rice mixed with herbs and leaves), served with some meat in sauce and vegetables. Although Malagasy food is cooked with relatively little spice, it is considered flavoursome and delicious and encompasses influences from African, Arab, Indonesian and French cuisine.
A popular dish that can be found across the whole island is romazava, a stew made from beef, chicken or fish and vegetables, served with rice. Another speciality is ravitoto, which consists of pork and shredded cassava leaves. While Malagasy food is not normally hot, a chilli relish called sakay can be used to spice up a dish.
Dessert is almost always a variety of exotic fruits sprinkled with sugar and flavoured with vanilla, which can be washed down with a glass of ranonapanga, an alcoholic drink made from burnt rice water. Local beers go by the name of THB (Three Horses Beer) and Gold, soft drinks such as Coca-Cola are widely available.
Safe eating while travelling in Madagascar
Food hygiene standards in Madagascar may differ to what you are used to back home so to avoid getting sick take extra precautions with your food. Ensure that all hot food is served piping hot rather than lukewarm. If something looks poorly prepared, especially meat or fish, it is better not to eat it. When it comes to street food, don’t eat anything that might have been sat in the sun for too long. Avoid ice that has been made with tap water as well as salad and unpeeled fruit, which might have been washed in it.