Some of the most popular ingredients in the Central African Republic cuisine are vegetables, beans and lentil dishes. Meat is also quite popular as for centuries it used to be the number one ingredient in the Central African cuisine. After they have discovered how to grow vegetables and fruit trees the people here started to use less and less meat products because they were so much harder to provide. However, meat is still one of the main ingredients in the central African dishes especially in the traditional ones, even though if sometimes it is only added to add flavor. Adding smoked fish or seafood in the food can also flavor dishes. The essential ingredients in this area are yams, cassava, plantains, rice, and sometimes even rice. Also the central African people eat a lot of mangoes, avocados, and paw paws. In order to give more flavor to the food, the people in central Africa use herbs and spices, such as cardamom pods, ground cumin, black pepper, mustard seeds and black pepper.