Street Food – Zanzibar

The spice island’s cuisine bears the mark of centuries of global trade.

Zanzibar, known as the spice island, is situated in the Indian Ocean, one of the world’s oldest and largest free trade zones.

It has been been a destination for merchants of all colours and creeds for centuries – the old trading port was a 19th century Omani capital.

This trade and migration have marked the history of the many communities living along its shores off the coast of the Tanzania mainland in East Africa.

As a result, Zanzibar has one of the richest and most diverse food cultures in East Africa encompassing influences from Arabia, India and Europe.

Street food is a term often interpreted literally as food served on the streets but in Zanzibar the real roads are the ocean and the presence of seafood is everywhere on the menus.

The island’s wealth was largely founded on the spice trade until the advent of tourism and this heavily influences trademark local dishes such as bokoboko.

But the tourism boom has also heralded the decline of Zanzibar as a major trading port.

Al Jazeera visits the island to discover the changes taking place, sample the many local flavours, finding time for a spot of bullfighting and even a game of football – the real local passion.