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African Pizza, A Novel Use of Food

Investigating Food Used in Novels


Welcome to Shirley Gould who shares a food scene and recipe from her debut novel, The Sahar of Zanzibar.

Food scene from The Sahar of Zanzibar by Shirley Gould


“Okay, Mr. Tour Guide, tell me about this market.” Olivia was glad to be with Eli again.


“It’s called Forodhani Gardens. It is in Stone Town, along the sea walk. That quiet stretch of beach comes alive when the sun goes down. It’s a unique street food experience. Chefs bring out their best. It’s where the locals go for dinner to keep from cooking at home. You’ll love it.”


“Well, I’m game. It sounds like running through a drive-through in the States. But you choose our food. I don’t want to eat something I shouldn’t.”


“It’s a deal. You’ve got to try the sugarcane juice and Zanzibar pizza as an appetizer. Then we will shop for a while and find another vendor for our dinner meal.”


After they parked the SUV at a church in Stone Town, Eli took Olivia’s hand and led her to the sea walk. He stopped at a kiosk and got them some sugarcane juice.


“Here, try this.”


She took a drink. “That’s good. It’s not as sweet as I thought it would be. But I like it.”


They sat and enjoyed their juice, enjoying the hubbub. Zanzibaris were diving off some cliffs at the end of the beach, putting on quite a show as the sun went down. Dhows passed along the horizon in the distance. Locals were grilling skewers of meat, calamari, and lobster. The smell of pita bread wafted toward them. Olivia loved the setting. “You were right. This is amazing. Thanks, Eli.”


“Now, for that appetizer.” He went to a friend and bought a plate of pizza and one Coke. He held it up. “I hope you don’t mind sharing. It’s the only thing cold, but I got two straws.”


“I don’t mind.” She would memorize these moments. They perched on a ledge away from the chaos and ate.


“It’s not like any pizza I’ve ever eaten, but it’s good. Is this a fried egg in the middle of the pizza?”


Eli smiled. “Yes, between the crepe-like crust is beef, mayo, vegetables, and egg.” He wiped his mouth.


“Just like Pizza Hut. Right?”


“I don’t think so.” She took another bite.


African Pizza




About The Sahar of Zanzibar:

In a scary case of mistaken identity, Olivia Stone is threatened by Aga Kahn, a powerful Indian ruler, because she could pass as the twin of the missionary’s deceased wife. Kahn calls her the Sahar of Zanzibar who has returned from the grave to torment him and demands that she leave the island or face his wrath. She’s come to exotic Zanzibar in search of adventure, but she experiences much more.


A handsome widower, Missionary Eli Deckland, steps between Olivia and the angry Indian, rescuing her. There’s an instant connection between Olivia and Eli that escalates when he comes to her rescue again and again. Amid the chaos, Eli tries to prove Kahn murdered his late wife. After several attempts on Olivia’s life, she’s kidnapped. Eli joins the police to find her before it’s too late.


As every moment passes, Olivia’s life is in more danger… Will she be saved in time? If she is rescued, would it work between her and Eli? With an ocean keeping them apart, will their feelings fade? The answer is in the African skies…

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