Traditional Food | Ibo Island

Mozambique traditional food has been greatly influenced by the Portuguese. Ruling for nearly 500 years, the Portuguese greatly impacted the cuisine of Mozambique. Pãozinho, Portuguese-style bread rolls, cassava, a starchy root great for pesto and cashew nuts were all brought in by the Portuguese. The use of seasonings such as onions, bay leaves, garlic and chili peppers were introduced by the Portuguese. Portuguese dishes are commonly eaten in present-day Mozambique.

The fruit of Ibo are papaya, pineapples, paw paw and of course fresh coconut. Traditionally puddings are made from these juicy fruits and often accompanied with Mozambican chá – a spicy flavoured tea. Traditional Ibo’s savoury dishes include cassava, sweet potato, tomato and fresh fish or seafood. Meals are mostly served with delicious traditional coconut rice.

Cassava is roughly translated to “the all-sufficient”. Cassava leaves are often pounded with cashew or peanuts to make a delicacy and taste of what we like to describe as an Ibo inspired pesto. On Ibo Island this dish is called Matapas and it’s really popular with the community and our guests alike. Coconut rice is a traditional dish that entails rinsing the fresh rice at least 3 times thoroughly, then steaming in rich fresh coconut milk and afterwards baking in a pot slowly over the fire until the rice is soft and fluffy with an unmistakable aroma of coconut.


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