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Congo - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Congolese Cuisine HistoryEdit

Congo, which is a poor place, situated in Central Africa, stretches from Tibesti mountains in the north to the vast rainforest basin of the Congo River, and has thereby been largely free of culinary influences of the outsider world, until the 19th century, with the exception of the widespread adoption of cassava, Peanut and chilli pepper plants which arrived along with the slave trade during the early 1500s. These ingredients have had a huge influence on the local cuisine. The Congo cuisine has remained mostly traditional. The cuisine of Congo presents an array of exotic dishes. The Congo cuisine reflects indigenous traditions, as well as influences from the Arabs, the Europeans and the Asians. The continent of Africa is the second largest landmass on the planet and is home to thousands of tribes, ethnic and social groups. This diversity is reflected in the Congo cuisine, in making the use of basic ingredients as well as in the manner of preparation and cooking techniques.

Cuisines of Congo Edit

Map of Congo

Map of Congo - Click to enlarge

Traditionally, as in almost all cultures globally, the cuisines of Congo uses a combination of locally available fruits, grains and vegetables, milk and meat products. Most of the restaurants in Congo provide mishmash of its traditional cuisine as well as a bit of the French cuisine. Excellent fish, giant oysters and shrimps are a part of the cuisines of Congo. A few of the most popular cuisines of Congo are Piri Piri, (with pepper), Mouamba Chicken in palm oil, served with cabbage salad and cassava leaves, saka saka (ground cassava leaves cooked with palm oil and Peanut paste) and the famous Maboke (fresh water fish cooked in large marantacee leaves). Most of them are traditionally cooked with a tinge of the way the French cuisine is cooked. Many of the cuisines that you will find in the Cuisines of Congo are mostly influenced by the customs and traditions that are prevalent in the region.

Preparation Methods for Congolese Cooking Edit

Locally purchased fruits and vegetables should be peeled or cooked while preparing your Congo cuisine. You should use the right amount of spices and other ingredients in your cuisine as it works best.

When making a soup from the Congo cuisine in the traditional Congo style, then try being creative by making your soup pot to sit on three stones that are arranged in a triangle, with fire wood beneath it. For less complication a stainless-steel pot over your stove is fine too. Make sure that while you are preparing your soup from the Congo cuisine, the fire is not ignited at a high-level, as the soups in the Congo cuisine requires time to simmer and best results always come out with the soup left under a low heat stove. Some of the recipes that you will see in the Congo cuisine ask for very simple preparation methods such as, steaming, grilling, barbequing etc.

Special Equipment for Congolese Cooking Edit

Apparently, no ‘special’ equipment that you do not have in your kitchen already would be needed for cooking a recipe from the Congo cuisine. Common stoves, ovens, non-sticky pots and pans are some of the most useful utensils that you will need for your Congo cuisine cooking. It is always recommended to use wooden stirrers rather than the stainless steel ones. You will find many meet dishes in the Congo cuisine; therefore metal skewers can play to your advantage. Grills are also very handy for a few of the meat dishes. You can find most of this equipment for cooking your scrumptious traditional Congo cuisine, in almost all food departmental stores around you. A few sharp edged knives for threading meat, a medium sized pot for the stews and soups are also helpful utensils that you might need while preparing your Congo cuisine. Cooking a Congo cuisine is not a tedious job at all, it is a lot of fun, and with having all the varied equipment at hand can make your cooking even more enjoyable.

Congolese Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

The food traditions and festivals in Congo are rich and some of them are extremely traditional. Christmas is celebrated with much warmth in Congo. People traditionally prepare special Congo cuisines and place it on tables outside their houses. This is where they entertain their invited guests to share the joyful celebration with scrumptious cuisine of from the Congo cuisine. On the eve of Christmas, most of the people in Congo go to Christian churches and it is a custom there to present the Child Jesus on His birthday with a gift. There is a “March Around offering” in which everyone takes part. Each member marches around the altar and lays the gift on a raised platform. Most of these gifts comprise of traditionally prepared Congo cuisines, some of them also lay fruit and vegetables. Some ceremonies such as the initiation rites, funeral, daily temple liturgy, blessing of the spears, fisherman’s Prayer, weddings, births etc. all involve a grand feast being served. The feast is hot and spicy and is extremely traditional in these traditions, customs and festivals in Congo.

People in Congolese Food Edit

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