The foods eaten by the people of Togo

The cuisine of Togo has evolved over centuries, influenced by various factors such as indigenous practices, trade with neighboring regions, and European colonization. Togo's culinary traditions reflect its diverse ethnic groups and the country's colonial past under German and French rule. Here is a general outline of foods that have been eaten in Togo over the last 500 years:

Staple Foods

  • Maize (Corn): Corn is a primary staple and is used to make dishes like "Akple," a type of sourdough dumpling.
  • Cassava: Cassava root is used in various forms, such as boiled, fried, or used to make fufu.
  • Yams: Yams are another significant crop and are usually boiled, fried, or pounded.
  • Rice: Though not as traditional as other staples, rice has gained prominence over the years, often served as jollof rice or in stews.

Traditional Dishes

  • Fufu: A starchy side made by pounding boiled yams, plantains, or cassava.
  • Akume/Akple: A sourdough dumpling made mainly from corn or cassava flour.
  • Gboma Dessi: A spinach stew often prepared with meat or fish.
  • Ablo: A type of sweet, steamed cornbread.

Meats and Protein Sources

  • Fish: Given Togo's coastal location, fish is an essential part of the diet.
  • Chicken and Goat: These meats are more commonly consumed in Togo, especially during festive occasions.
  • Beans and Lentils: Plant-based proteins also play a role, often in the form of bean stews or lentil dishes.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Plantains: Often fried or boiled, plantains are a common part of meals.
  • Palm Nuts: Used to make palm nut soup, a popular traditional dish.
  • Tomatoes, Onions, and Peppers: These are often used as base ingredients for various stews and sauces.


  • Palm Wine: Fermented from the sap of palm trees, palm wine is a traditional alcoholic beverage.
  • Tchoukoutou: A traditional beer made from millet or sorghum.

Foreign Influences

  • French Cuisine: Due to French colonization, bread and pastries have found a place in Togolese cuisine.
  • German Influence: Though limited, some German foods and cooking methods were introduced during the German colonial period.

Spices and Flavors

  • Peppers and Chilies: Spice is an integral part of Togolese cuisine, and various types of chilies and peppers are used.
  • Ginger and Garlic: Commonly used to flavor dishes.

Modern Influences

  • International Cuisine: In urban areas, international foods are becoming more widely available, but traditional foods still hold cultural importance.

Over the years, Togolese cuisine has adapted to various influences while maintaining its core traditional elements. Whether in the form of indigenous stews or meals influenced by European colonizers, the food of Togo tells a story of a rich and varied cultural history.

Back to blog

For those eating a modern diet, we recommend adding the below vitamins to your daily routine.