Malagasy cuisine

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Malagasy cuisine encompasses the many diverse culinary traditions of the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar. Foods eaten in Madagascar reflect the influence of Southeast Asian, African, Indian, Chinese and European migrants that have settled on the island since it was first populated by seafarers from Borneo between 100 CE and 500 CE. Rice, the cornerstone of the Malagasy diet, was cultivated alongside tubers and other Southeast Asian staples by these earliest settlers. Their diet was supplemented by scavenging and hunting wild game which contributed to the extinction of the island's megafauna. These food sources were later complemented by beef in the form of zebu introduced into Madagascar by East African migrants arriving around 1,000 CE. Trade with Arab and Indian merchants and European transatlantic traders further enriched the island's culinary traditions by introducing a wealth of new fruits, vegetables and seasonings.

Throughout almost the entire island, the contemporary cuisine of Madagascar consists of a base of rice (, pronounced ), typically with an accompaniment termed laoka () in the official dialect of the Malagasy language. The many varieties of laoka may be vegetarian or include animal proteins, and typically feature a sauce flavored with such ingredients as ginger, onion, garlic, tomato, vanilla, salt, curry powder or—less commonly—other spices or herbs. In parts of the arid south and west, pastoral families may replace rice with...
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