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.
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.
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.
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.
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.