You’re never truly a Kenyan unless you’ve had a roadside snack at least three or more times in your life.
In Kenya roadside snacks are not exactly your ultimate “must have meal” but they are worth sampling. Whether you like your meals in Java or Kempinski you can never escape the street vendors around the cities, estates and villages.
Here are the most popular roadside snacks that Kenyans cannot go without.
1. Roasted maize
When I was in first year and was still on fad diets, this was my go to meal. In Kenya, roasted maize is also known as (Mahindi choma). You may think that green maize roasted over a charcoal burner isn’t worth having until you add a little pepper over the cob. You can choose to have yours spicy or simply salty. This snack is literally everywhere and is cheap too.
2. Smokies/boiled eggs
Do not deny that at least once in your life when you’re out from your local club, you look for the guy with a farmers choice cart and ask for a smokie. It is simply processed pork that tastes so damn good and is also cheap. The other option in that cart is a boiled egg and together, you can have a feast for less than a 100 bob. Because we like our meals balanced we add a salad known as kachumbari (mixture of tomatoes, onions, chilli and salt).
We all have fancy names for this delicacy but it is simply a sausage that is made of minced meat stuffed into a large intestine and roasted over a charcoal burner. Never tell a Kenyan that the idea of eating a large intestine is disgusting. This snack is gloriously cheap and tasty. You can have it on the go or in very specific bars that make this snack juicy.
This snack is the reason I never saved any money in primary school. Kashata is one of the sweetest candy snacks I have ever had. This snack is made of grated coconut, sugar and food colour. It does sound unhealthy, doesn’t it? we still find an excuse to eat this yummy roadside snack.
5. Chips Mwitu
Also known as fries but now from a street vendor. There is such a difference between the fries from a restaurant and one that is fried from a fireplace outside, either in your estate or from a hood nearby. If you are lucky it will be served with a vegetable salad, tomato sauce, chili sauce or just as plain fries.
Finger-licking grilled meat is what this is. Although it is not an easy snack to get everywhere, Kenyans still enjoy their meat on the roadside. For some reason mshikakis are usually on found in the evenings and mostly near bars.