Brochettes: History, Cultural Significance, and Best Pairings

The French influence isn’t just limited to the West. The French colonization of Africa gave birth to a region known as French West Africa, consisting of eight French colonies.

Today, Africans have helped spread not just the language, but also other aspects of French influence around the world.

You can prominently see this influence in African food as well, with the traditional French brochettes continuing to be a major part of African cuisine in West Africa. Brochettes are found in nearly every cuisine in different forms and their significance is apparent and fun to read about. Here’s a brief review of the wonderful culture and history behind this innovative dish.

The History of Brochettes

The concept behind French brochettes is extremely plain and simple — it’s essentially just meat on a stick. Maybe the simplicity is why there is no unanimously agreed-upon origin of the dish.

However, many historians do believe that the “format” of the dish originated prior to the 14th century (1300s). In the Middle East, you’ll find the similar kebab dating all the way back to the Ottoman Empire — while in South and Southeast Asia, you’ll find the satay and shashlik dating all the way back to the Silk Road.

In Africa, the French brochettedates back to the French colonization. The name itself is French, and so is the concept of the dish. Today, it continues to be a staple in African street food.

Cultural Significance of Brochettes

Brochette is the national dish of the francophone region of Rwanda, East Africa. Many African families pass this dish down to their younger generations as a way to keep traditions alive. Even though the dish was brought to the country by French colonizers, the African francophone have made it their own.

You may find a variety of French brochette styles in Africa, but the general format will always consist of small cubic pieces of meat (most often goat) on a stick with slices of vegetables in between. This dish is now a defining feature of Rwandan and African cuisine.

Best Brochette Pairings

In French restaurants in Canada and Africa, you’ll find a range of pairings that go with French brochettes. The best ones, based on how well the tastes complement each other, include the following.

  • French brochette with salads
  • French brochettes with rice
  • French brochettes with sauces
  • French brochettes with bread

Try Mouth-Watering French Brochettes In Montreal

If you’d like to try some of the best French brochettes in Montreal, QC, then you must visit Baguette Brochette!

We are a Montreal-based French sandwich restaurant that also offers a variety of delicious African street food options. Our menu consists of mouth-watering French baguette sandwiches, French brochettes, salads and African snacks.

Get in touch with us.