What Things Are Better When Bought At The African Store?

When you first step into an African store, you might be surprised that many of the items are more familiar than you first assumed they would be. Many African stores have cosmetic sections, shelves of cleaning products, and even snacks that aren't too different from those that you'd find at any standard American grocery store. However, there are things that tend to be more special, authentic, or better-quality when purchased at an African store. Here are a few such products.


Nutmeg, a spice that is widely used throughout many cuisines, is actually native to Africa. The variety most commonly used in Africa is called Ehuru ofia. It is a key seasoning in so many different African stews, sauces, and baked goods. Since it is grown in Africa, the nutmeg you buy in an African store tends to be really high-quality. You don't just have to use the nutmeg in African dishes once you get it home, either. Freshly ground, it is lovely in American apple pies, French cheese sauces, and so much more.

Shea Butter Moisturizers

Shea butter is a natural moisturizer that is found in a lot of lotions. Since shea trees typically grow in Africa, Africans are especially fond of moisturizers, lip balms, and salves made with this ingredient. You'll find a wide range of shea butter products in many African stores, and they tend to be of very high quality. And they can be really rich and balmy.

Bar Soap

Of course, you can find all sorts of good bar soap at pharmacies and even at natural markets. But African stores tend to carry a unique type of bar soap that is well worth trying. Known as black soap, this bar soap is made with ash produced from various African plants. It is said to be great for treating acne and removing excess oils from the skin. If you see this at your local African store, consider giving it a try.


Millet is a small, ancient grain. While you can sometimes find it at an American-based grocery store, the millet at an African store may be of better quality. That's because this grain is a staple in Africa, and as such, African farmers go above and beyond to produce good millet. You can boil it and serve it like rice, add it to stews, and more.

African stores carry a lot of cool products. The ones discussed above are surely some top ones to try. Keep these tips in mind when looking for an African-style store near you.