Speaking to kenyagist.com, professional nutritionist Florence Amakobe, who is based in Emali, gave us an insight into the pros and cons of these street delicacies. She explained that street foods are common in Kenya because they are readily available and sell fairly.
However, they pose dangers such as contamination both from the seller and microbes from the environment, how they are packed is also an issue because of the danger posed by plastics and nylon used which may have active carcinogens. She also pointed out that contamination of these foods could cause Gastrointestinal infections and stomach upsets.
Some of the most popular foods include;
The delicacy known as Mutura is a Kenyan type of sausage made by filling goat intestines with a combination of mincemeat, goat blood, and seasonings such as ginger, garlic, coriander, and chilies. The sausage is traditionally boiled and then placed on the grill to dry up the meat and give it a unique, smoky flavor.
2. Mahindi Choma
This traditional meal is prepared by grilling green corn on fairly hot charcoal till the corn starts to dry on the grill. Once ready one can apply some lemon with ground chili to add flavor. The deputy president William Ruto is a known fan of this delicacy.
The name of this popular Kenyan street dish, mshikaki, refers to skewered pieces of marinated meat such as beef, goat, or mutton that is slowly cooked over hot charcoal. The meat is marinated in a combination of various herbs and spices that are popular along the Kenyan coast, where it got its name from the Swahili people.
4. Fried Cassava
This meal is made by chopping the cassava into small chunks, then boiling them in water until they soften, and then add salt. One can add food color if they like. The boiled chunks are then deep-fried in cooking oil then dried up with a soft tissue or towel to remove the excess oil. Ground chili can be put to add some flavor.
5. Smokie Pasua
The name ‘smokie pasua’ means a smokie that has been sliced in half (pasua) and has been filled with Kachumbari (diced tomato, onions, coriander, chilli (optional), and sprinkled lemon). It is often sprinkled with salt and tomato sauce. Instead of a smokie, you could have a boiled egg done in the same way.
6. Roast Meat
Popularly known as â€œNyama Chomaâ€ by Kenyans, it is sold from big restaurants to roadside shacks on the streets. The delicacy is basically roast meat, commonly goat, beef, or chicken, and is commonly served with ugali and kachumbari on a cutting board.
7. Fruit salads
Fruit vendors cut a mix of fresh fruit, common bananas, watermelons, passion fruits, and pineapples all in one plastic container to make fruit pudding. With this, one eats a blend of many fruits on one plate.
8. Chicken Necks and Gizzards
Parts of chicken such as necks and gizzards are mostly sold to vendors by firms and butchers that slaughter chicken on a large scale and cut off these parts because their target markets do not consume them. These parts finally find their way to grills in the roadsides where they are roasted.