|The staple food in Zambia is a thick cornmeal
mash called nshima. Some Zambians feel that a meal is not complete
without it. Other basics such as rice, potatoes or pasta are merely substitutes
for this popular dish. To prepare nshima, women in rural areas pound
dried white maize kernels into a fine meal using a large mortar and pestle.
In the city, people buy ground cornmeal in stores. For breakfast, Zambians
may serve nshima thinned with water or milk and sweetened slightly
with sugar. For lunch or supper, people usually eat nshima with
fish, meat, peanuts or beans. Nshima na nkuku is a popular chicken
|Zambia's many lakes and rivers provide fish. Kapenta,
a small sardine-like fish, is indigenous to Lake Tanganyika, but now thrives
in Lake Kariba as well. It is dried, fried and made into relish. Baskets
of dried kapenta are sold in markets across the country. Other fish
include bream, ndombi (catfish), nkupi, mpasa (lake salmon),
Nile perch and tiger fish.
pride themselves on their hospitality. "Do not look at a visitor's face
but at his stomach" is a proverb throughout the country.
|Other common foods are sorghum and millet (cereal
grains), cassava (a starchy rootstock), sweet potatoes and groundnuts (peanuts).
Zambians use onions and tomatoes in soups and relishes, and the leaves
of beans, okra, cow peas, pumpkins and cassava for greens. Bananas and
mangoes grow well in many parts of the country.
Most villages brew their own beers. Commercial
beers include Mosi Lager (named for Mosi-oa-Tunya or Victoria Falls),
Rhino Lager, and Chibuku (also called Shake-Shake). Umunkoyo
is a non-alcoholic drink made from roots.
|As many homes in rural areas do not have electricity,
women usually cook food outside over charcoal or wood fires. When the meal
is ready, the family members wash their hands: the father first, the mother
second, and then the children in order of age. If visitors are sharing
the food, they are given the honour of washing first. After the meal, everyone
washes again, in the same order.
In rural areas, mothers may eat with their
daughters and young sons, while older boys eat with their fathers. In cities,
however, families usually eat together. Because the climate is so pleasant,
some people eat their meals outside, sitting on woven mats.
many urban Zambians eat bread, which is not a traditional food. To satisfy
this new demand, the country has begun to grow and import wheat.
2 bunches fresh
collard greens (or spinach), washed and chopped
250 ml raw peanuts,
1 onion, sliced
2 medium tomatoes,
In a medium-sized
saucepan, boil the onion and tomatoes with the ground peanuts, adding salt
to taste and water as needed. After a few minutes, add chopped greens.
Stirring occasionally, continue cooking until the peanuts are soft and
the mixture has become a fairly thick buttery sauce (15-20 minutes). Serve
hot or cold.