Tribal Tastes – The Taste of Africa @ QVM

Posted by: Scott Ko

On a stifling summer’s day, I visited the Queen Victoria Market. Relieved of the sun’s burning rays, I headed to the Dairy Hall and stumbled upon Tribal Tastes. I shared a lovely chat with Rosie – to which I admitted 95% ignorance towards African cuisine. Her vast array of knowledge led me to believe that she had spent a portion of her life in Africa. When I asked ‘What is your background?’, expecting to hear South African or the likes, her response ‘ Maltese’, led us both to giggle at her incredulous response. It turns out Rosie is married to a Kunle – the founder of Tribal Tastes who grew up in Nigeria, studied in Europe and finally made Australia his home in 1995. Kunle noticed the absolute absence of African cuisine in Australia and founded Tribal Tastes.

Tribal Tastes is a pioneer of African cuisine both globally and in Australia. It was the first African delicatessen in the world and has been located within Queen Victoria Market for the past 12 years. In addition to the store, Tribal Tastes have been manufacturing traditional African food within a specially designed plant in Reservoir. Many of its products are vacuum sealed to maintain freshness and flavour.

Kunle’s passion for healing and nurturing foods has led to the development of products that contain 100% natural ingredients- free from gluten, dairy, milk, sugar and preservatives. Who knew that African cuisine could also be healthy?

Tribal Tastes are predominantly West African and South African cuisine specialists.

West African cuisine

In the past, West African cuisine consisted of less meat – instead opting for native oils and local greens. Today’s diet is heavier in meats, salts and fats. Many dishes combine dried fish and meat, with goat used as the dominant red meat.

Interestingly, Brazilian cuisine has also been heavily influenced by West Africa. The Yoruba tribe to which Kunle originates, was inflicted by the slavery trade where many Yoruba people were kidnapped and taken to Brazil. Many of their descendants remain in the Northern regions of Brazil. It is therefore common to find West African ingredients such as Cassava and Dende oil in Brazilian dishes.

If it weren’t for Tribal Tastes, it would be near impossible to find West African and Brazilian ingredients such as: Samp, El Hanout, Egusi and Maize Meal to name a few. But, Tribal Taste are known for their unique Kilishi line – a traditional West African style jerky made from smoked meats and fish.

South African cuisine

South African cuisine is more varied, blending a mix of European, Asian and African influences representative of its unique cultural mix. Dried preserved meats or biltong is popular amongst South African barbeques. Tribal Tastes have introduced a line of South African specialties including: biltong, stokkies & droewors. Cuts of meat include scotch fillet, chuck steak, sirloin and kangaroo.


South African


Other products

Ready-to-eat: If you’ve never had any African cuisine or don’t know how to cook it. Tribal Tastes also have a range of healthy, ready to heat meals for those of us who are less inclined to cooking. As part of their e-commerce initiative, these can be purchased through their online store.

African Spice Queen spices – Great for marinades, dips and coatings. The African Queen range is an exotic collection of beautiful spices and spice blends inspired by African cuisine. Easy to use and tasty.

White Maize: White Maize products are used using Australian grown Maize.

So, there you have it. African cuisine is not as homogenous as you may think. It is as diverse and interesting as any other worldly cuisine. Pop down to Tribal Tastes at the Queen Victoria Market for a taste of Africa and it’s range of healthy tasty products.



Shop 83

Dairy Produce Hall

Queen Victoria Market




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