OK, I know I said earlier this week that Tanzania doesn’t have an awful lot of food to write home about, but there is one dish you really do need to know about. Actually, it’s pretty much the de facto national dish of Tanzania and I have to declare that it is pretty damn amazing.
Anywhere you go in this country, you’ll see little makeshift stands along the side of the road, generally stocked with just two things:
1) A giant, wok-like bowl set over a fire, perpetually cooking up a new batch of french fries in a big ol’ pool of oil.
2) A crate of farm-fresh eggs.
So what exactly do they make at all of these mysterious egg and french fry stands?
They make a muthafuckin french fry omelet, fool! Doesn’t require much of an explanation, really. You just throw the french fries in a pan and re-fry them with a bunch of eggs poured around them. Depending on how fancy your roadside stand is, your french fry omelet might be served with a slaw of fresh vegetables, just with a few spicy pili pili peppers on the side, or sometimes you just get salt and ketchup. Also depending on how fancy the stand is, you might get a toothpick or two to break it apart and eat it with, or you might simply have to go ahead and barehand it. In Swahili it’s known as chips mayai (chips and eggs), and it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midday snack, midnight snack — really, it’s always acceptable, and I know exactly what I’ll be doing next time I find myself at home with leftover french fries.