Traditional Kenyan foods reflect the many different lifestyles of the various groups in the country. The Portuguese arrived in 1496 on the coast of Kenya, and introduced foods from newly discovered Brazil. Maize, bananas, pineapple, chillies, peppers, sweet potatoes, and cassava were brought in and became local staples. The Portuguese also brought oranges, lemons, and limes from China and India, as well as pigs.
Pastoralism (cattle herding) has a long history in Kenya. Around A.D. 1000, a clan from North Africa called the Hima introduced cattle herding. By the 1600s, groups like the Maasai and Turkana ate beef exclusively. Cattle provided meat, milk, butter, and blood.
The British imported thousands of Indians for labour, and curries (spicy dishes made with curry spice), chapattis (a flat, disk-shaped bread made of wheat flour, water, and salt) and chutneys (a relish made of spices, herbs, and/or fruit) became a traditional Sunday lunch for many Kenyans.