In this third webpage about the "Francophonie" we chose to present a rather touristic aspect of the member states and particularly everything related to traditional food.

Regional dishes and typical drinks of each member country are available in this webpage such as noteworthy information suggesting the peoples' culinary. So, it is rather a journey throughout exotic names and fragrant savours and if you ever take your pick on one of those countries for a holiday, you will have the opportunity to discover hereby all the delicacies.

The first webpages about "Francophonie" outlined the various aspects of the member states' agricultural and industrial development but here, we outpoint a feature the web visitors possibly ignore.

So, to those who would fancy visiting the member countries we wish a nice trip on and may they have a chance to try all the delicacies below mentionned and find out new flavours and savours.




Food and Drink : Private restaurants are appearing rapidly in Albania. In the more popular places, it is necessary to reserve a table and to be punctual. Food is typically Balkan with Turkish influences evident on any menu - byrek, kofte, shish kebab. Albanian specialities include fërgesë tirane, a hot fried dish of meat, liver, eggs and tomatoes, and tavë kosi or tavë elbasani, a mutton and yoghurt dish. Fish specialities include the koran, a trout from Lake Ohrid and the Shkodra carp. In summer tarator, a cold yoghurt and cucumber soup, is particularly refreshing. Popular Albanian desserts include oshaf, a fig and sheep's milk pudding, cakes soaked in honey and candied fruits or reçel. Guests of honour are quite often presented with a baked sheep's head. A favourite in the south is kukurec (stuffed sheep's intestines). Continental breakfasts are usually served in hotels, but in the country the Albanian breakfast of pilaf (rice) or paça (a wholesome soup made from animals' innards) may not be to everyone's taste. Drink : All bars and restaurants serve Albanian drinks such as raki, local red and white wines and different liquors. The Albanian cognac, with its distinctive aroma, is also popular. Many imported drinks can also be found, including Austrian canned beer, Macedonian wine and ouzo from Greece. Turkish coffee (kafe Turke) is popular with Albanians, but many bars also serve Italian espresso (ekspres).



Food and Drink : There is a selection of restaurants and hotels in Cotonou, serving French food with table service, although some also serve local African specialities, particularly seafood.



Food and Drink : The main meal is eaten in the middle of the day. Dinner is a social occasion, with dancing in many restaurants. Food is spicy, hearty and good. National dishes include cold yoghurt soup with cucumbers, peppers or aubergines stuffed with meat, kebapcheta (small, strongly spiced, minced meat rolls). Fruit is particularly good and cheap throughout the year. Banitsa is a pastry stuffed with fruit or cheese. There is a wide variety of national dishes, as well as Western European standard dishes, which can be chosen on the spot at any restaurant. All good hotels have restaurants and there are many attractive folk-style restaurants and cafés throughout the country. Drink : Coffee, heavily sweetened, is particularly popular. Drinks are also made from infusions of mountain herbs and dried leaves, particularly lime. White wines include Karlouski Misket, Tamianka and Evksinograde. Heavy red wines include Trakia and Mavroud.



Food and Drink : Outside hotels there are few restaurants in Ouagadougou and in Bobo. Staple foods include sorghum, millet, rice, maize, nuts, potatoes and yams. Local vegetables and strawberries are available in season. Specialities include brochettes (meat cooked on a skewer) and chicken dishes. Beer is very reasonably priced.



Food and Drink : The choice is limited. Meals in Bujumbura's hotels are reasonable, but expensive and of fairly average quality. The French and Greek restaurants in the town are good. There are few restaurants outside the capital and Gitega.



Food and Drink : Restaurants and other businesses abound in Phnom Penh, although the city remains poor. Food stalls are also common in Phnom Penh and can usually be found in and around the Central Market, O Ressei Market and Tuol Tom Pong Market.



Food and Drink : Cooking is often French or Lebanese, while local food can also be very tasty. Luxury items can be extremely expensive. The country abounds in avocado pears, citrus fruits, pineapples and mangoes. Prawns are in plentiful supply in the south. There are many restaurants in big towns and cities, with good service. Drink : Most international hotels have bars. There are no licensing hours, and hotel bars stay open as long as there is custom.



Food and Drink : Canadian cuisine is as varied as the country. The hundreds of miles of coastline offer varied seafood, and the central plains provide first-class beef and agricultural produce. The colonial influence is still strong, with European menus available in all major cities. The French influence in Québec is easily discernible in the many restaurants which specialise in French cuisine. Waiter service in restaurants is common. Dress requirements and billing procedures vary. Drink : Spirits may only be purchased from specially licensed liquor stores or restaurants displaying the sign 'Licensed Premises' if alcohol is served on the premises. Many allow customers to bring their own beer or wine. A wide variety of alcohol is sold in most hotels, restaurants and bars. A selection of European/American wines and spirits is also imported, although the Canadians also enjoy their own, such as rye whisky. Bars may have table or counter service and payment is generally made after each drink. Opening hours vary from province to province. The legal age for drinking in bars is 18 or 19 depending on local regulations.



Food and Drink : There is an increasing number of restaurants and cafes. The main local speciality is cachupa, a mixture of maize and beans. Fruits include mangoes, bananas, papayas, goiabas (guavas), zimbrão, tambarinas, marmelos, azedinhas, tamaras and cocos. Drink : Local beer, wine and spirits are commonly available ; grog is a popular choice. Soft drinks are expensive.



Food and Drink : Western food is only available in the capital Bangui. Most of the top-class hotels have good restaurants. The standard of these restaurants is high, but they do tend to be expensive. Otherwise travellers must call at local villages and barter for provisions. Local food is basic. Drink : Bars are numerous in Bangui with both table and counter service. Drinking and smoking are not encouraged in Muslim society; in Muslim areas drinking is best done in private.



Food and Drink : N'Djaména offers a fair selection of restaurants serving mainly French and African food. Chad's excellent beer, Gala, is brewed in Moundou and is widely available in the non-Muslim parts of the capital. Standard European-style service is normal. Outside the capital, restaurants tend to be cheap and cheerful and there is an acute shortage of some foodstuffs. Visitors should exercise caution with street market food.



Food and Drink : Restaurants serve good food with spiced sauces, rice-based dishes, cassava, plantain, couscous, barbecued goat meat, plentiful seafood and tropical fruits. There may be restrictions on drink within Muslim circles.


CONGO, Democratic Republic of the

Food and Drink : Thereare several good restaurants in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, but prices are high. Hotels and restaurants which cater for tourists are generally expensive and serve international and national dishes. A typical speciality is moambe chicken, cooked in fresh palm oil with rice and spinach. The capital Kinshasa offers French, Belgian and local cuisine, but again restaurants are expensive and cater essentially for business people. Small restaurants and snack bars offer Chinese, Tunisian and Greek food.


Congo, Republic of the

Food and Drink : Restaurants provide mostly French cuisine, and the coast has excellent fish, giant oysters and shrimps. In Brazzaville the main hotels have good restaurants serving French cuisine, and there are also restaurants specialising in Italian, Lebanese and Vietnamese cooking. Some restaurants, such as those at Nanga Lake and Grand Hotel in Loubomo, specialize in African meals such as piri piri chicken (with pepper), Mouamba chicken in palm oil, palm cabbage salad and cassava leaves, saka saka (ground cassava leaves cooked with palm oil and peanut paste) and Maboke (freshwater fish cooked in large marantacee leaves). Pointe-Noire and Loubomo also have restaurants and bars, usually in hotels, with table service. Some bars also have counter service.



Food and Drink : Abidjan and other centres have restaurants serving French, Italian, Caribbean Lebanese and Vietnamese food. There is a growing number of African restaurants catering for foreigners. Traditional dishes are kedjenou (chicken cooked with different vegetables and sealed in banana leaves), n'voufou (mashed bananas or yam mixed with palm oil and served with aubergine sauce) and attieké (cassava dish). The best area for spicy African food is the Treichville district of Abidjan. There are no restrictions on drinking.



Food and Drink : There are restaurants to suit all tastes, serving French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arab and local specialities. Drink will be limited in Muslim areas (particularly during Ramadan).



Food and Drink : In general it is wise to order the speciality of the house or of the day to ensure freshness. Island cooking includes Creole, Continental and American dishes. Creole dishes include tee-tee-ree (tiny freshly spawned fish), lambi (conch), agouti (a rodent), manicou, pig and wild pigeon (smoked meats), and crabbacks (backs of red and black crabs stuffed with seasoned crab meat). Bello Hot Pepper Sauce is made locally and served everywhere with almost everything. Food prices on Dominica are usually reasonable. Restaurants close at about midnight weekdays but are open later at weekends. Root vegetables, such as yams and turnips, are often referred to as 'provisions' on a menu. Drink : Island fruit juices are excellent as are rum punches, particularly coconut rum punch (made from fresh coconut milk, sugar, rum, bitters, vanilla and grenadine). Sea Moss is a non-alcoholic beverage made from sea moss or seaweed, with a slightly minty taste. Spirits, local rum especially, are inexpensive. Wines (mainly French and Californian) are expensive. There is a wide choice of beers available.



Food and Drink : There are few restaurants in Equatorial Guinea and those that exist are mainly restricted to Malabo and Bata and do not necessarily open every day. Most restaurants serve Spanish or continental cuisine. Beer is usually expensive, though a local sugar cane brew, malamba, can be sampled very cheaply.



Food and Drink : With the exception of China, France has a more varied and developed cuisine than any other country. The vegetables, cheese, butter and fruit eaten in a French are usually fresh. Dishes include tournedos (small steaks ringed with bacon), châteaubriand, entrecôte (rib steak) served with béarnaise (tarragon-flavoured sauce with egg base), gigot de présalé (leg of lamb roasted or broiled) served with flageolets (light green beans) or pommes dauphines (deep-fried mashed potato puffs). Other dishes include brochettes (combinations of cubed meat or seafood on skewers, alternating with mushrooms, onions or tomatoes) or ratatouille niçoise (stew of courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines braised with garlic in olive oil) ; pot-au-feu (beef boiled with vegetables and served with coarse salt) and blanquette de veau (veal stew with mushrooms in a white wine/cream sauce). In the north of France fish and shellfish are the star features in menus - oysters, moules (mussels), coques (cockles) and crevettes (shrimps) are extremely popular. In the Champagne-Ardenne region there are the hams of Reims and sanglier (wild boar). Among fish specialities in this area are écrevisses (crayfish) and brochets (pike). Alsace and Lorraine are the lands of choucroute (sauerkraut) and kugelhof (a special cake), quiche lorraine and tarte flambée (onion tart). Spicy and distinctive sauces are the hallmark of Breton food, and shellfish is a speciality of the region, particularly homard à l'amoricaine (lobster with cream sauce). Lyon, is the heartland of French cuisine. A speciality of this area is quenelles de brochet (pounded pike formed into sausage shapes and usually served with a rich crayfish sauce). Bordeaux rivals Lyon as gastronomic capital of France. Aquitaine cuisine is based on goosefat. A reference to 'Perigord' will indicate a dish containing truffles. Basque chickens are specially reared. In the Pyrénées, especially around Toulouse, visitors will find salmon and cassoulet, a hearty dish with beans and preserved meat.



Food and Drink : Most hotels and restaurants serve French and continental-style food and are expensive. Gabonese food is distinctive and delicious, but not always readily available, as most restaurants serve Senegalese, Cameroonian and Congolese food. Drink : Licensing hours are similar to those in France.



Food and Drink : Restaurants, except in the capital where Western-style food is available, generally serve local dishes including jollof rice, stuffed chicken with groundnuts and fish dishes. These are usually served with rice and may be spicy. Staples are cassava, yams and maize. Guineans are fond of very hot maize soup, served from calabashes. Drink : Main hotels, mostly in the capital, have reasonable restaurants where a wide variety of alcoholic beverages are served, including good West African brands of beer. This is also available in local bars.



Food and Drink : The French cuisine is good and the Creole specialities combine French, tropical and African influences. Dishes include Guinea hen with sour orange sauce, tassot de dinde (dried turkey), grillot (fried island pork), diri et djondjon (rice and black mushrooms), riz et pois (rice and peas), langouste flambé (local lobster), ti malice (sauce of onions and herbs), piment oiseau (hot sauce) and grillot et banane pese (pork chops and island bananas). Sweets include sweet potato pudding, mango pie, fresh coconut ice cream, cashew nuts and island fruits. Drink : French wine is available in the better restaurants. The island drink is rum and the best is probably 'Barbancourt', made by a branch of Haiti's oldest family of rum and brandy distillers.



Food and Drink : Rice, especially sticky rice, is the staple food and dishes will be Indo-Chinese in flavour and presentation. Lao food can be found on the stalls in the markets. There are several fairly good French restaurants in Vientiane, catering mainly for the diplomatic community. Baguettes and croissants are normally eaten for breakfast. Drink : Rice whisky lao lao is popular and there are two brands available. The beer is also good.



Food and Drink : Lebanese cuisine is widely acknowledged to be the finest in the Middle East. The country's gastronomic tradition is characterised by the use of an extremely wide variety of locally produced and therefore extremely fresh vegetables served in all forms and shapes with an abundance of fresh herbs (mostly coriander, parsley and mint). Excellent Lebanese food is available everywhere. A dish unique to Lebanon is kebbeh, made of lamb or fish pounded to a fine paste, with burghul or cracked wheat, and served raw or baked in flat trays or rolled into balls and fried. Also recommended is the traditional Lebanese mezza, a range of up to 40 small dishes served as hors d'oeuvres with arak. Main courses are likely to include Lebanese staple ingredients of vegetables, rice and mutton. Lahm mishwi (pieces of mutton with onions, peppers and tomato) is popular. Other typical dishes are tabbouli, houmos and mtabbal. Lebanese palates also favour pastries with local varieties of baked doughs flavoured with nuts, cream and syrup. A meal is always concluded with a wide range of fresh fruit, including melon, apples, oranges, persimmon, tangerines, cactus fruit, grapes and figs, which are all grown locally. Beirut also offers a large choice of international restaurants which offer dishes from all over the world. Drink : Bars have table and/or counter service. Alcohol is not prohibited.



Food and Drink : Luxembourg cooking combines German heartiness with Franco-Belgian finesse German heartiness with Franco-Belgian finesse. Local dishes include carré de porc fumé (smoked pork and broad beans or sauerkraut), cochon de lait en gelée (jellied suckling pig), and jambon d'Ardennes (famous smoked Ardennes ham). The preparation of trout, pike and crayfish is excellent, as are the pastries and cakes. Tarte aux quetsches is recommended. Delicious desserts are prepared with local liqueurs and omelette soufflée au kirsch. A dash of quetsch, mirabelle or kirsch will be added to babas or fruit cups.



Food and Drink : Macedonian cuisine is similar to that of Turkey and Greece. Different varieties of kebab can be found almost everywhere, as can dishes such as moussaka (aubergines and potatoes baked in layers with minced meat). National specialities are gravce na tavce (beans in a skillet) and the delicious Ohrid trout.



Food and Drink : In Madagascar eating well means eating a lot. Malagasy cooking is based on a large serving of rice with a dressing of sauces, meat, vegetables and seasoning. Dishes include ro (a mixture of herbs and leaves with rice) ; beef and pork marinated in vinegar, water and oil, then cooked with leaves, onion, pickles and other vegetables and seasoned with pimento; ravitoto (meat and leaves cooked together) ; ramazava (leaves and pieces of beef and pork browned in oil) ; vary amid 'anana (rice, leaves or herbs, meat and sometimes shrimps) often eaten with kitoza (long slices of smoked, cured or fried meat). The people of Madagascar enjoy very hot food and often serve dishes with hot peppers. Local restaurants are often referred to as "hotely". Drink : The choice of beverages is limited. The national wine is acceptable. Malagasy drinks include litchel (an aperitif made from litchis), betsa (fermented alcohol) and toaka gasy (distilled from cane sugar and rice) and 'Three Horses' lager. Non-alcoholic drinks include ranon 'apango or rano vda (made from burnt rice) and local mineral waters.



Food and Drink : Several of the hotels have restaurant and bar facilities of international standard, serving international cuisine, and most towns have small restaurants serving local and north African dishes. Hotel restaurants are open to non-residents. A particular Malian speciality is La Capitaine Sangha, a kind of Nile perch served with hot chilli sauce, whole fried bananas and rice. There is a limited choice of restaurants. Drink : Alcohol is available in bars (with very late opening hours), but since the majority are Muslim there is a good range of fresh fruit juices. Most people tend to drink fruit juice rather than alcohol. Malian tamarind and guava juices are delicious.



Food and Drink : Waiter service is normal in restaurants and bars. Standards of cuisine, whether French, Creole, Indian, Chinese or English, are generally very high but fruit, meat, vegetables and even fresh seafood are often in short supply and restaurants must usually depend on imports. Specialities include venison (in season), camarons (freshwater prawns) in hot sauces, octopus, creole fish, fresh pineapple with chilli sauce, and rice with curry. Drink : Rum and beer are staple beverages for Mauritians but there is good imported wine, mineral water, alouda (almond drink) and fresh coconut milk.



Food and Drink : There are plenty of small restaurants and coffee shops. The service tends to be slow, but the cuisine is delicious. Local specialities include mititeyi (small grilled sausages with onion and pepper) and mamaliga (thick, sticky maize pie) which is served with brinza (feta cheese). Tocana (pork stew) should be tried with sweet-and-sour watermelons and apples. Drink : There are more than 100 varieties of excellent wines produced in Moldova. White wines include Riesling, Aligote and Sauvignon. Moldovan Cabernet and Bordeaux are noteworthy reds. Nistru or Doina brandy is an ideal accompaniment with desserts.



Food and Drink : Restaurants in Monaco offer a wide choice of food. Service and standards are excellent. Cuisine is similar to France, with some delicious local specialities. There are many restaurants and bars with late opening hours. Specialities include : barbagiuan, a type of pastry filled with rice and pumpkin ; fougasse, fragrant orange flower water pastries decorated with nuts, almonds and aniseed ; socca, chick-pea flour pancakes; and stocafi, dried cod cooked in a tomato sauce.



Food and Drink : Although Niger has concentrated on improving its agriculture, shortages of locally produced foodstuffs are common, owing to drought. Traditional dishes tend to be less varied than in countries further south and are usually based around millet, rice or niebé, a type of bean that has become an important crop. Beef and mutton are common in the Hausa country and the nomadic regions of the north. In both areas, brochettes are sold in the streets. Foura, which consists of small balls of ground and slightly fermented millet crushed with milk, sugar and spices, is a speciality. European, Asian and African dishes are also served, particularly in Niamey, using local fish, meat and vegetables. Niger's most popular drink is tea, which is available everywhere from street stalls. There is also a good selection of imported beverages. Alcohol is available, but there are restrictions because of Muslim beliefs and traditions.



Food and Drink : Although there are some regional differences between the provinces, there is a definite national culinary tradition. Dishes include ciorba de perisoare (soup with meatballs), ciorba tãrãneascã (vegetable soup with meat and rice balls served with sour cream), lamb bors, giblet soup and a variety of fish soups. The Romanians excel in full-bodied soups, some of the best being cream of mushroom, chicken, beef vegetable and bean soup. Sour cream or eggs are also added to soups. Mamaliga (a staple of mashed cornmeal) is served in many ways. Other national specialities include tocana (pork, beef or mutton stew seasoned with onions and served with mamaliga), ghiveci (over 20 vegetables cooked in oil and served cold), Moldavian parjoale (flat meat patties, highly spiced and served with garnishes), sarmale (pork balls in cabbage leaves), mititei (a variety of highly-seasoned charcoal-grilled meat) and patricieni (charcoal-grilled sausages similar to Frankfurters). Fish dishes include nisetru la gratar (grilled Black Sea sturgeon), raci (crayfish) and scrumbii la gratar (grilled herring). Desserts include placinte cu poale in briu (rolled cheese pies), Moldavian cozonac (brioche) and pasca (a sweet cheesecake). Pancakes, served with jam, and doughnuts, topped with sour cream or jam, are also popular desserts. Breakfasts almost always include eggs, either soft-boiled, hard-boiled, fried or scrambled. Omelettes, filled with either cheese, ham or mushrooms, are also frequently served. Vegetarians may have difficulties, as most local specialities are meat-based. Although there are inexpensive self-service snack bars, table service is the norm. Drink : A traditional drink with entrées is tuicã (plum brandy) which varies in strength, dryness and smell according to locality. Tuicã de Bihor is the strongest and generally known as palinca. Romanian wines have won international prizes and include pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, riesling, pinot gris and chardonnay from the Murfatlar vineyards. Many Romanian wines are taken with soda water and hot wine is also popular during winter. Romanian beers are excellent. Romanian sparkling wines, or methode champagnoise, are very good and superb value. Glühwein (mulled wine) is another popular Romanian drink.



Food and Drink : Hotels generally serve a reasonable choice of European dishes, while restaurants serve Franco-Belgian cuisine and some African dishes. Drink : A fairly good selection of beers, spirits and wines is available. Beer is also brewed locally.



Food and Drink : Most hotels have restaurants, in addition to a wide range in the major towns serving many different types of food. Waiter service is the norm. Local dishes include langouste (local lobster) cooked in a variety of ways, lambi (conch) and other fresh seafood, breadfruit and other local fruit and vegetables. Pepper pot and fried plantain are two local specialities worth trying. In general the food is a combination of Creole with West Indian and French influences. Drink: Many imported spirits are available, but the local drink is rum, often served in punch and cocktails. Caribbean beer, including the locally-brewed Piton and Heineken, and plenty of delicious fresh fruit juices are also available.



Food and Drink : There are several restaurants in the capital, augmented by a considerable number of more informal eating establishments patronised by the inhabitants. Reservations are nearly always required, even at the higher profile restaurants, not because of lack of space but to allow the owner to obtain sufficient food in advance. Grilled fish and chicken are popular. Most dishes are highly spiced.



Food and Drink : Senegalese food is considered among the best in Africa. The basis of many dishes is chicken or fish, but the distinctive taste is due to ingredients not found outside Africa. This food is served in many restaurants in Dakar. Provincial rest houses serve less sophisticated but delicious variations. Dishes include chicken au yassa (chicken with lemon, pimento and onions), tiebou dienne (rice and fish), dem à la St Louis (stuffed mullet), maffe (chicken or mutton in peanut sauce) and accras (a kind of fritter). Suckling pig is popular in the Casamance region. Drink : The traditional drink is mint tea, the first cup drunk slightly bitter, the second with more sugar and the third very sweet. The Casamance drink is palm wine, which is drunk either fresh or fermented. Toufam (a kind of yoghurt thinned with sugared water) is served in Toucouleur villages. A unique drink is home-roasted coffee with pimento.



Food and Drink : Seychellois Creole cuisine is influenced by French, African, Chinese, Indian and English traditions. The careful blending of spices is a major feature and much use is made of coconut milk and breadfruit. Local specialities include kat-kat banane, coconut curries, chatini requin, bourgeois grillé, soupe de tectec, bouillon bréde, chauve-souris (fruit bat), cari bernique, salade de palmiste (made from the 'heart' of the coconut palm and sometimes known as 'millionaire's salad') and la daube (made from breadfruit, yams, cassavas and bananas). Breadfruit is prepared in similar ways to potatoes (mashed, chipped, roasted, etc) but has a slightly sweeter taste. Other locally produced fruits and vegetables include aubergines, calabashes, choux choutes, patoles, paw-paws (papaya), bananas, mangoes, avocados, jackfruits, grapefruits, guavas, lychees, pineapples, melons, limes and golden apples. Lobster, octopus, pork and chicken are used more frequently than beef or lamb, which must be imported. Most restaurants offer a few items of what is termed 'international' cuisine, generally with a bias towards preparations of fresh fish and shellfish, as well as the Creole delicacies mentioned above. There are Italian and Chinese restaurants on Mahé. Drink : A wide range of wines, spirits and other alcoholic beverages is available in the Seychelles. Seybrew, a German style lager, is made locally. The same company also produces Guinness under licence and soft drinks. Local tea is also popular .



Food and Drink : Swiss cuisine is varied. The great speciality is fondue, the delicious concoction of Gruyère and Vacherin cheese, melted and mixed with white wine, flour, Kirsch and a little garlic. Other cheese specialities are Emmental and Tête de Moine. Regional specialities include viande sechée (dried beef or pork) from Valais and the Grisons where it is called Bündnerfleisch. The meat is cut wafer thin, with pickled spring onions and gherkins. Papet vaudois is a delicious dish made from leeks and potatoes. Geneva's great speciality is pieds de porc (pigs feet). Pork sausages or salami come in a variety of local recipes including Landjäger, Beinwurst, Engadinerwurst, Leberwurst (pâté), Kalbsleberwurst (calf's liver pâté), and Knackerli. Try Rösti (shredded fried potatoes) and Fondue Bourguignonne (cubed meat with various sauces). Cakes and pastries are also varied : Leckerli are Basel specialities (spiced honey cakes topped with icing sugar) ; in Bern they are decorated with a white sugar bear ; Gugelhopf (a type of sponge cake with a hollow centre), Fasnachtküchli (sugar-dusted pastries eaten during Carnival) and Schaffhausen (cream-filled cakes) are also popular. Although there are many self-service snack bars, table service is normal. Drink : A great variety of Swiss wines are available throughout the country. There are also spirits made from fruit, the most popular being Kirsch, Marc, Pflümli and Williams. Swiss beer of a lager type is also available. Bottled mineral water is an accepted beverage, local brands including Henniez and Passuger.



Food and Drink : Most restaurants catering for visitors tend to be French orientated, although some do serve African dishes. In Lomé in particular, there are many small cafés serving local food. Dishes include soups based on palm nut, groundnut and maize. Meat, poultry and seafoods are plentiful and well prepared, as are the local fruit and vegetables. Drink : A good selection of alcoholic drinks is available - some produced locally.



Food and Drink : Tunisian food is well prepared and delicious, particularly the authentic lamb or dorado (bream) cous-cous, the fish dishes, tajine and brik or brik à l'oeuf (egg and a tasty filling fried in an envelope of pastry). Tunisian dishes are cooked with olive oil, spiced with aniseed, coriander, cumin, caraway, cinnamon or saffron and flavoured with mint, orange blossom or rose water. Restaurants catering for tourists tend to serve rather bland dishes and 'international' cuisine, and visitors are advised to try the smaller restaurants. Prices vary enormously, and higher prices do not necessarily mean better meals. Tunis and the main cities also have French, Italian and other international restaurants. Self-service may sometimes be found but table service is more common. Drink : Moorish cafés, with their traditional decor, serve excellent Turkish coffee or mint tea with pine nuts. Although Tunisia is an Islamic country, alcohol is not prohibited. Tunisia produces a range of excellent table wines, sparkling wines, beers, aperitifs and local liqueurs, notably Boukha (distilled from figs) and Thibarine.



Food and Drink : There are many restaurants in the main tourist areas. Seafood features strongly on hotel and restaurant menus in Port-Vila and the main towns. The numerous ethnic backgrounds of the inhabitants of Vanuatu are reflected in different styles of cooking. Chinese and French influences are the strongest. Food is generally excellent everywhere. French cheese, pâtés, bread, cognac and wine are available in Port-Vila's two major shops. Local fruit is excellent.



Food and Drink : Vietnamese cooking is varied and usually very good. It is a mixture of Vietnamese, Chinese and French traditions, with a plethora of regional specialities. As in all countries of the region, rice or noodles usually provide the basis of a meal. Not surprisingly, fish is plentiful. Breakfast is generally noodle soup locally known as pho (pronounced 'fur'). French-style baguettes are available throughout Vietnam. Local specialities include nem (pork mixed with noodles, eggs and mushrooms wrapped in rice paper, fried and served hot) and banh chung (glutinous rice, pork and onions wrapped in large leaves and cooked for up to 48 hours, to be eaten cold at any time). Vietnamese dishes are not complete without nuoc mam (a fish sauce) or mam tom (a shrimp sauce). Western-style cooking is on offer wherever tourists or business people are to be found in any numbers. Drink : Green tea is refreshing and available everywhere. Apart from baguettes the French culinary legacy also embraces rich, fresh, filter coffee, usually brewed on the table in front of the customer. Vietnamese often have a fondness for beer. It is possible to get both local and imported brands. When in Hanoi it is worth trying the local draught beer available at street stalls. It is called Bia Hoi and is not only cheap, but free of additives. Rice wine is also a favourite throughout the country. It is generally extremely potent.



Food and Drink : Egyptian cuisine is excellent, combining many of the best traditions of Middle Eastern cooking, and there are both large hotel restaurants and smaller specialist ones throughout the main towns. Some of the larger hotels in Cairo and its surroundings have excellent kitchens serving the best cosmopolitan dishes. In the centre of Cairo, American-style snack bars are also spreading. Local specialities include foul (bean dishes), stuffed vine leaves, roast pigeon, grilled aubergines, kebabs and humus (chickpeas). Restaurants have waiter service, with table service for bars. Drink : Although Egypt is a Muslim country, alcohol is available in café-style bars and good restaurants.



Food and Drink : Guinea-Bissau's few hotels and restaurants offer excellent food, though some places are expensive. Local specialities include jollof rice, chicken and fish dishes. Staples are cassava, yams and maize.



Food and Drink : Moroccan, Lebanese, Chinese and French restaurants can be found in the the capital, especially in hotels. Local cuisine, based on lamb, goat and rice can be sampled throughout the country. Mauritanian food includes mechoui (whole roast lamb), dates, spiced fish and rice with vegetables, fish balls, dried fish, dried meat and couscous. Drink : Consumption of alcohol is prohibited by the Islamic faith, but alcoholic beverages may be found in hotel bars. Zrig (camel's milk) is a common drink, as is sweet Arab tea with mint.



Food and Drink : Morocco's traditional 'haute cuisine' dishes are excellent and good value for money. They are often exceedingly elaborate, based on a diet of meat and sweet pastries. Typical specialities include : harira, a rich soup, and pastilla, a pigeon-meat pastry made from dozens of different layers of thick flaky dough. Couscous, a dish based on savoury semolina that can be combined with egg, chicken, lamb or vegetables, is a staple Moroccan dish. Tajine are stews, often rich and fragrant, using marinaded lamb or chicken. Hout is a fish version of the same stew, while djaja mahamara is chicken stuffed with almonds, semolina and raisins. Also popular are mchoui, pit-roasted mutton, and kab-el-ghzal, almond pastries. Hotel restaurants usually serve French cuisine. Restaurants offer a good selection of food, including typical Moroccan dishes, French, Italian or Spanish meals. The 3-course fixed menus are not expensive. Many of the souks have stalls selling kebabs (brochettes) often served with a spicy sauce. Drink : The national drink is mint tea made with green tea, fresh mint and sugar. It is very refreshing and its consumption is an integral part of Moroccan social courtesy. Coffee is made very strong, except at breakfast. Bars can have either waiter or counter service. Laws on alcohol are fairly liberal (for non-Muslim visitors) and bars in most tourist areas stay open late. Wines, beers and spirits are widely available. Locally produced wines, beers and mineral waters are excellent and good value, but imported drinks tend to be expensive.