Roasted Maize – African Style!

By Mark Wiens 3 Comments

In East Africa it’s one of the most popular and available snacks on the street.  It’s cheap, easy to eat, filling and delicious!  Along the streets from Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi you will find this African style of grilled corn, known as Maize.


It begins with starchy mature field corn, not the baby yellow corn that is common in other parts of the world. Young corn would wilt at the reaction of fire, but because African maize is picked mature, it roasts almost like popcorn, minus the eruption.


The corn pops and hisses as it roasts and begins to turn a golden yellow and black color.  There are no utensils used in this cooking method.  The vendor uses his bare hands to pick up the scorching cob and even to rearrange the burning coals themselves!


When you order your maize, the roaster will apply a seasoning mixture combination of salt, chilies, and lime.  The flaming hot piece of corn is then placed in a husk, making it manageable to hold and eat.


The flavor of the corn itself is excellent and the added seasoning makes maize a wonderful snack!



If you need a quick bite to keep you going in East Africa, look no further than a roasted maize vendor!