Tour the Darajani Market in Zanzibar, Tanzania; Mary Winston Nicklin; USA Today
Tour Tanzania’s vibrant Darajani Market
“Look out!” chef Wollman pulls me out of the way as a cart, laden with watermelon, careens down the narrow stone lane. The sun burns high in the sky; Hindi music and Taarab tunes stream from shop windows; the air is heavy with humidity and the scent of cloves and frangipani flowers.
We’re heading to the Darajani Market at the edge of Stone Town, an ancient maze of alleyways and fine merchant houses that’s classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Zanzibar ignites imaginations around the world. And beyond the perfect powdery beaches and turquoise water straight out of Eden, the “Spice Island,” as it’s known, cooks up some of the most exciting cuisine on the planet. Anchored off the east coast of Africa, Zanzibar’s proximity to India and the Arabian peninsula secured the island’s status at the historic center of maritime trade routes. Over the centuries, the distinct Swahili culture that developed here has resulted in a simmering exchange of recipes between Persia, Portugal, Africa, India, Oman and Britain.
The market is a chaotic collision of these cultures.