Cuisine of São Tomé and Príncipe

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Location of São Tomé and Príncipe
A marketplace in São Tomé, the country's capital, serves as a venue for local fishermen and farmers.
A close-up map of São Tomé and Príncipe

Santomean cuisine comprises the cuisine, dishes and foods of São Tomé and Príncipe, a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. The country consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 140 kilometres (87 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres (155 and 140 mi), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon.


Domestic food-crop production is inadequate to meet local consumption, so the country imports much of its food.[1] In 1997, it was estimated that 90 percent of the country's food needs were met through imports[1] including meat and food-grains.[1] In 2003, it was estimated that 8.33% of the country's total land is arable.[2]

Primary food crops include bananas, breadfruit, taro, maize, beans, papaya, palm oil, and primary agricultural production crops for export include cocoa, copra and coffee.[1][3] Fish and seafood is prominent in São Tomése and Príncipe cuisine, and the fishing industry contributes approximately 25 percent to the country's gross domestic product.[1][4] Poultry is also raised in São Tomé and Príncipe.[1]

The nation's cuisine has been influenced and shaped by African and Portuguese settlers.[5]

Common foods[edit]

Staple foods include fish, seafood, beans, maize and cooked banana.[4][6] Tropical fruits such as pineapple, avocado and bananas are a significant component of the cuisine.[4] The use of hot spices is prominent in São Tomése cuisine.[4] Coffee is utilized in various dishes as a spice or seasoning.[4] Breakfast dishes are often reheated leftovers from the previous evening's meal.[6]

Grilled safous and bananas


Coconut water

Alcoholic beverages[edit]

Street foods[edit]

Cooked corn on the cob. Street vendors in São Tomé and Príncipe sometimes offer grilled corn on the cob.[6]

Street foods include stews, safú (a fruit) and corn on the cob.[6]


Estufa de morcego is a bat stew delicacy that is served on saints days and during fiestas.[6]

Desserts and sweets[edit]


Snack foods[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Agricultural Marketing Directory for U.S. & Africa Trade - Mary E. Lassanyi, Wayne Olson. p. 206.
  2. ^ "São Tomé and Príncipe: Agriculture". NationMaster. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  3. ^ Sao Tomé and Príncipe - Recent Economic Developments and Selected Issues (EPub) - International Monetary Fund. p. 70.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Recipes of Africa – Dyfed Lloyd Evans. pp. 174-176.
  5. ^ a b c d São Tomé. Foodspring. Accessed February 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an Sao Tome and Principe – Kathleen Becker. pp. 74-79.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]