Tanzania food has been developing gradually. Tanzania food items have lot of variety ranging from fruits to vegetables to meat and milk products. The early people who lived in Tanzania were mostly termed as hunter-gatherers.
During the first five hundred years the most popular food in Tanzania consisted of sorghum, millets, fruits, fishes, vegetables. In AD 800, the Arabs entered Tanzania and established the trade routes in the country. During this time they introduced and popularized food items like cotton plants, citrus fruits, biriani and pilau. These food items became very popular among the people of the coastal areas and Zanzibar.
Groundnuts and cassava introduced by the Portuguese also became an important part of the diet of Tanzania. Meat items are not widely consumed in Tanzania. Sheep, goats and cattle are normally used for their milk. Only during festive occasions they are killed for their meats. The most commonly used meat items are ndayu and nyama choma.
The main diet of the Tanzanian people was the pilaf, cornmeal, beans, sorghum and millet. Ugali is the national meat dish of Tanzania. People living in the coastal areas mainly prefer rice and fish cooked in coconut. Some natural grown fruits and vegetables consumed are the pawpaw (papaya), ndizi (bananas), matunda (fruits), beans, spinach and maize. Ndizi Kaanga is the famous dish among the Tanzanians. Apart from this, Tanzanian food also comprises of vitumbua (sweet fried bread), chapatti (flat fried bread), juices of oranges, sugarcane and pineapple. In the Mount Kilimanjaro region a special type of banana beer is available. Fresh fruits or pudding such as the mandazi are also quite popular.