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Matters of taste

Does the "latitudinal theory" of culinary development explain why complex cuisine never really took off in sub-Saharan Africa? Plus, two new London restaurants to watch

By Alex Renton   March 2008

Beef Wellington in the bush

Could African cuisine really be the next big thing in Britain? The London chef-proprietor Mourad Mazouz says so, but he made his reputation at Momo, a restaurant specialising in Moroccan cuisine, which is about as representative of Africa as New York deli food is of the Americas.

There are many theories as to why complex cookery did not take off in sub-Saharan Africa, away from the Arab-influenced coasts. None are entirely satisfactory. It used to be said that in pre-colonial African societies there was never a leisured class that could devote time,…

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