“What IS That Stuff?”: Favorites from Boma

I mention Boma around here a LOT. It’s a breakfast and dinner buffet over at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, and it’s a great buy for adventurous eaters who want to try something a bit outside the fold from burgers and ribs. And for people who do prefer burgers and ribs, Boma can be a fun and delicious step out of your comfort zone. Thanks to our friends at AKLResort.com for collaborating on this post.

Boma Sign

While dishes on the Boma buffet change daily, there are a few authentic African options that are available more often than not. Picky eaters (including myself) are often scared off by unfamiliar names or ingredients that aren’t found in the typical American diet, so I’m going to use a post to showcase some of these items, tell you what’s in them, and show you pictures. Sometimes a little familiarity is all it takes for these dishes to be worth a try the next time you’re at Boma!

Pap and Chaka Laka
Pap is a dish made from corn flour, butter, and water, and is seasoned with salt and pepper. It’s a staple of African cooking almost everywhere. Chaka Laka is a spicy South African vegetable relish that often features peppers and chiles, beans, and other vegetables, and can be flavored with curry powder. Pap is very often served with some sort of meat or vegetable relish/topping — when you try this, you know you’re getting an authentic African staple dish.

Pap and Chaka Laka

Pap and Chaka Laka

Bobotie can be compared to the British cottage pie. It’s traditionally made from spiced, minced meat — usually beef or pork — baked with an egg-based topping. Sometimes curry powder is added.



Coconut Curry Salmon
Coconut and Curry are two flavors you’ll find quite a bit in African, and thus in Boma, cooking. Both flavors are often used in central and southern African cooking due to strong Indian, Spanish, and Portuguese influences. Coconut offers a sweetness, while curry can taste differently depending on what spices are used. Often, there’s a slightly spicy or hot flavor with a bit of tang. Spices typically used in curry can include garlic, green and red peppers, black pepper, tumeric, coriander, and cumin.

Coconut Curry Salmon

Coconut Curry Salmon

Traditionally, FuFu is a potato or cream of wheat based dish, mashed, molded into balls, and served as a starchy accompaniment with soups. At Boma, it’s more like a mashed sweet potato. Ingredients include mashed sweet and white potatoes, cinnamon, coriander, sugar, and butter.



Watermelon Rind Salad
This is a cold dish made with watermelon rind, vinegar, grenadine, water, ginger, and sugar.

Watermelon Rind Salad

Watermelon Rind Salad

As an aside, Boma and the Animal Kingdom Lodge in general is also a great opportunity — if you’re a talker like me — to meet some incredible cast members who are spending some time sharing stories and teaching guests about their home countries on the African continent.


  1. Lillian says

    I’ve tried all these dishes and like them with the exception of the watermelon rind salad…. it has a weird taste.

  2. says

    Pickled watermelon rind is awesome! I don’t remember having it at Boma when I ate there years ago, but I’ve always liked it when I’ve tried it at other restaurants…

  3. says

    Great post, AJ! Have you done this for other restaurants at WDW? The African fruit drink they serve for breakfast is fabulous! It think it’s called Frunch.

  4. Heather says

    I love the FuFu! My favorite is their rice, I could literally just eat that. ;) Our trip in March is the first time we aren’t going to Boma (we have gone during each of our 5 trips the last 3 years), it’s always one of my favorites!

  5. Jeff W. says

    Awww, come on! You ended the post just when I was really getting into it! Might I suggest a part deux? Nevertheless, LOVED this post, as Boma’s one of my very favorites, because I’m not a picky eater at all (ooo! Smell me! ;-) )

  6. Kara B. says

    We almost named our dog Boma. Hands-down our favorite WDW restaurant.

    I usually get a bowl of just FuFu like some people get bowls of soup. And as hard as I’ve tried to make it at home, it isn’t the same.

  7. says

    Heather — Do you mean the kokonut rice? Yum! Too bad you’re not heading back to Boma, but you can’t do them ALL!

    Jeff — Ha! Sorry about that! We definitely can do a part deux; I actually had a few more buffet items on the list! BTW, My grandma always says “smell me!” Good times.

    Kara — What did you end up naming your dog? Jiko? That’d be a good one!! Yeah, the husband and I were talking about how when we try to make restaurant food at home it never tastes exactly right. I think it’s because the atmosphere and ambiance of the restaurant are really a part of the taste of the food. And, just speaking for us, we’re probably bad cooks. ;)

  8. barbara says

    Boma rocks!! Love the hummus(s), the soups are fabulous and cannot say enough about the meat dishes! It’s our first choice every trip and we make some of the dishes at home when we need our ‘fix’. allears.net has alot of their recipes and the chefs @ Boma are also more than willing to ‘spread alittle love’ if you ask either at the rest. or over the internet. You did a great job on the photos, too, made me almost taste the foods! Thanks!

  9. says

    Stephanie — I’m with you!

    Barbara — Thanks for the reminder that recipes are readily available. I’ve experiences some extremely gracious chefs over the years at Boma.

  10. says

    Loved Boma so much in May that we went back again last week. Once again our favorite meal of the trip (sorry Robert Irvine, but it is true). The salmon was one of the best fish dishes I have had. The only item I have never tried is the watermelon salad. Never saw it, but that is probably because I was focusing on all of the interesting hot dishes before that end of the buffet. Oh, my 6 year old also adored the spinach and quinoa salad. Who knew?!

  11. says

    Zebra domes zebra domes zebra domes zebra domes….

    Really good post on Boma! We’ve only been there once for dinner (sans kids) but will be doing breakfast there this summer (with kids). If we’re adventurous, we might hop over there once this summer for dinner early before the reservation crowds take over (with kids). This will help explain what some of the dishes are to the boys. Thanks!

  12. says

    Mush — Your little guys are so cute! Loved seeing them with the Princesses at Akershus on your blog :-) Have fun at Boma!

  13. Frank says

    AJ sounds like you spend a bit of time there maybe you could help.

    I was there years ago and have been on a quest to find if they still have a cinnamon curry pork dish. It was served from a large simmering pan. A yellow soup like consistency with bite size pieces of pork/ham and a wonderful strong cinnamon aroma!

    I do a search every few months and have can not come up with any mention of this dish.

    Have you seen or heard of it?

  14. says

    Frank — I haven’t seen the dish in my recent travels, but they do change that menu up pretty often; it might just be in a rotation that I haven’t hit yet. I’ll keep on the lookout for it!

  15. HiddenMickey says

    Anyone know what those crunchy little bits are that they have near the oatmeal in Boma? Looks like little beige colors pearls and people sprinkle them on their oatmeal or quinoa.

  16. says

    Hmm…wish I had a pic, HiddenMickey! I hope someone can pull up the answer for you. In the meantime, I’ll go search for a photo to see if I can identify.

  17. Kittymama says

    I attended a trade show at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in January 2010. The first night we had a outdoor dinner by the lake with lots of food stations. One of the stations had a delicious (of course…not a bad meal the entire stay) yet unusual variation of a cole slaw. It included an ingredient that I’ve never experienced before and I’m dying to know what it was! It was too tough to be a crouton, not really a vegetable (I don’t think) and I’d love to know what it was. It was dark when we ate, so I couldn’t see it. Any ideas what type of salad that was and what was in it? I’m kicking myself for not asking!!!

  18. says

    Wow, Kittymama! I have no idea whatsoever! I’ll leave this comment up, however, in the hopes that someone will pass by and help out! In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any unusual coleslaw I encounter. Thanks for the comment! (Did you like Coronado Springs? I love that resort!)

  19. Kittymama says

    AJ, Thanks for the eye peel! I LOVED Coronado Springs!! I understand that the trade show I attended in January will be back there in 2011 and I’m already looking forward to going back. WOW can Disney co-ordinate an event…HOLY COW! It was all so impressive. I bet the food changes often, but if I come across that slaw again I’m taking a plateful around and asking! It was so good! Thanks for your help…love the blog!

  20. says

    Kittymama — Sounds good! When it comes to Disney food, if you like it, always ask for the recipe — they’ll usually give it to you :-) And I bet the event was amazing; Coronado Springs is such a beautiful resort. One of my favorite memories is of swinging in a hammock with a margarita in my hand… lovely!

  21. Disney Dustin says

    The ‘sweet corn and spinach pudding’ dish is amazing, along with pretty much everything else I had there. Boma has rocketed to near the top of my food list. The best part – as long as you can get them in the door, even the most culinary-challenged family and friends will find a wide selection of tasty (and familiar) flavors. Service was great too. Go BOMA!

  22. Nina Erickson says

    How do I get the recipe for Zanzibar Crab Soup? My grandson said it was the best thing he’s ever eaten! Thanks for your help.

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