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. In 1997 it was estimated that 90 percent of the country's food needs are met through imports. Furthermore, the country is not self-sufficient in meat and food grain production, and is reliant upon imports of these foods. In 2003 it was estimated that 8.33% of the country's total land is arable.
Primary food crops include bananas, breadfruit, taro, maize, beans, papaya, palm oil, and primary agricultural production crops for export include cocoa, copra and coffee. Fish and seafood is prominent in São Tomése and Príncipe cuisine, and the fishing industry there contributes approximately 25 percent to the country's gross domestic product. Poultry is also raised in São Tomé and Príncipe. The nation's cuisine has been influenced and shaped by African and Portuguese settlers.
Staple foods include fish, seafood, beans, maize and cooked banana. Tropical fruits such as pineapple, avocado and bananas are a significant component of the cuisine. The use of hot spices is prominent in São Tomése cuisine. Coffee is utilized in various dishes as a spice or seasoning. Breakfast dishes are often reheated leftovers from the previous evening's meal.
Jackfruit being prepared for consumpution
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