The Foods eaten by the people of Côte d'Ivoire

The culinary history of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is rooted in the traditional foods and techniques of the indigenous peoples, enriched by cultural exchanges with neighboring countries, and influenced by colonial rule. Over the past 500 years, the Ivorian diet has been a blend of local agricultural products, staples, and proteins.


  • Cassava: A root vegetable that is often boiled, fried, or used to make "attiéké," a grated cassava dish.
  • Rice: Often served with sauces and stews, or used in dishes like "riz gras" (a type of spiced fried rice).
  • Yam: Consumed boiled, fried, or pounded into "foutou," a dish often served with stews.
  • Plantains: Eaten grilled, boiled, or fried, known as "alloco" when fried.
  • Maize: Consumed as corn on the cob, or used to make dishes like "koki" (corn pudding).


  • Fish: Especially important in coastal areas, fish is grilled, smoked, or used in soups and stews.
  • Chicken: Often grilled or used in stews.
  • Goat and Sheep: Eaten mostly in skewered or stewed form.
  • Bushmeat: Including animals like antelope and guinea fowl, especially popular in rural areas.

Vegetables and Fruits:

  • Okra: Used to make stews or "sauce gombo."
  • Tomatoes, Onions, and Peppers: Common ingredients in many dishes.
  • Mangoes, Bananas, and Pineapples: Widely available and consumed fresh.
  • Coconut: Used both for its milk and flesh in cooking.


  • Groundnuts (Peanuts): Used in stews or consumed as snacks.
  • Cowpeas (Black-eyed Peas): Often used in stews or salads.

Spices and Condiments:

  • Palm Oil: Widely used in Ivorian cooking, particularly in stews and soups.
  • Chilies: For heat, sometimes ground into a paste or used fresh.
  • Ginger and Garlic: Commonly used spices.
  • Kotoukou: A local palm liquor sometimes used for cooking.

Traditional Dishes:

  • Kedjenou: A slow-cooked stew of chicken and vegetables.
  • Sauce Claire or Sauce Graine: Various types of sauces often served with fufu or rice.


  • Palm Wine: Traditional alcoholic drink made from the sap of palm trees.
  • Bissap: A drink made from hibiscus flowers.
  • Gnamakoudji: A ginger and pineapple drink.

Historical Influences:

  • Colonial Influence: The French colonial presence influenced the cuisine by introducing foods like bread and pastries.
  • Trade Routes: Influence from neighboring countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana, especially in the use of certain spices and cooking methods.

Modern Influences:

  • Global Foods: Urban areas now have a variety of international cuisines, including French, Lebanese, and more.
  • Health Trends: Increased awareness of nutrition is impacting modern diets, with an uptick in the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The foods of Côte d'Ivoire are diverse and deeply rooted in the country's history, traditions, and the natural bounty of the land. Over the last 500 years, the cuisine has adapted to include new ingredients and techniques while maintaining its unique character.

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