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Saturday, June 26, 2010

On eating in Moçambique

Food was an interesting concept in Moçambique. Having had a variety of foods in Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Cambodia, I wasn't sure what to expect there.

The cuisine of Mozambique revolves around fresh seafood, stews, corn porridge (maize meal called shima), rice, and mandioca (cassava). Rare meats such as steak and chicken are accompanied by beans, cassava fries, cashew nuts, coconut, greens, and potatoes. Garlic and peppers are used for spices. Mozambique's papaya and pineapples are known as some of the juiciest in the world. Chá (tea) accompanies most meals (at least in the winter, while I was there,) and is served with bread or cassava at mid-morning tea time.

I always had bread or cereal for breakfast, then shared tea and lunch with my students or in the communities, and usually returned to the missionary's home for dinner.

Hand washing - a hostess always comes around with a pitcher of warm water and a basin, and as she pours the water over your hands into the basin, you clean as you would normally, there just isn't soap. When you decide that you are finished, she hands you a drying towel.
I was pretty sure a few times that my hands were dirtier after I had washed them than they were before I had touched the towel.

Shima and Greens - not my favorite meal. Shima is a mashed and boiled corn meal, very similar to mashed potatoes, but very thick and sticky. Greens are soupy leaves in a mixture of coconut and peanut.

Rice and Fish
I assisted in the preparation of this particular meal; our "kitchen" was outside under a tree, over a large fire. It wasn't this particular fish, but this chicken-lover learned to eat and to like fish! See below:

Washing dishes and gutting the fish - both very new experiences for me. I learned how to gut a fish with only my two thumbs, and I learned how to wash pots with dirt and ashes.

Boiling rice

Grinding corn to make shima

This meal was a real feast

Eating in South Africa was a Westernized experience, except for all the bats under this picnic pavilion at Kruger Park

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1 comment:

sara said...

I love seeing all the different foods!! that is until you got to the bats!!! that would have totally freaked me out!