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Zimbabwe - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Zimbabwean Cuisine HistoryEdit

Zimbabwe is situated in the Southern Africa and it is marked by 2 important rivers of Africa: Zambezi and Limpopo – which provide a great quantity of fish, which are used in the Zimbabwean cuisine. Being full of tropical forests, Zimbabwe has a various flora and fauna, full of wild plants and animals. Besides these, the plantations of Zimbabwe (which are spread on 7% of the territory) include corn and coffee – 2 staple elements of the Zimbabwean diet. maize is another staple aliment – this is consumed both for the national beverages and as a meal: there is the sadza (a stiff maize dish) and the whawha (maize beer).

Due to the fact that Zimbabwe is a cosmopolitan society, as the population is formed of various African nations, like Shona, Tonga or Nbede, but also of Europeans and Asians, the Zimbabwe cuisine presents a variety and flexibility of meals and tastes.

Cuisines of Zimbabwe Edit

Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe- Click to enlarge

In Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the diversity of the international cuisines is very wide, as it contains cuisines from all the continents. Sometimes, these cuisines are combined with the local plants, in order to get popular dishes with local flavors – this is the case of the pasta and vegetarian dishes, which combine the Italian cuisine with the local staple aliments: lasagna with creamed spinach, herbed mushrooms, pumpkin and asparagus or rollatini with vegetables, toasted mixed nuts, mango and saffron sauce. In the big towns or cities, like Bulawayo, Gweru or Mutare, the cuisine is more sophisticated and includes more elements that the one found in the rural areas. In most of the villages, people’s diet is based on the traditional breads, like the pot brood (which is baked on coal fire), patarolle (sweet potato rolls), mashed veggies, isidudu (pumpkin pap), soups (maize soup) and stews (tomato bredie, Potato stew with Chicken or potjiekos). Mushrooms are very popular in Zimbabwe.

Preparation Methods for Zimbabwean Cooking Edit

Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. Zimbabwean cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Zimbabwean cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Zimbabwean cuisine. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Zimbabwe is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Zimbabwe’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Burkina Faso dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Zimbabwean Cooking Edit

From cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Zimbabwean cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Zimbabwean dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Zimbabwean food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Zimbabwean Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

The national day of Zimbabwe is celebrated on the 8th of April and with this occasion, there are many celebrations in all the regions of the country. These celebrations are traditional through the food that is cooked and provided: ranging from pastas with aromatic sauces, like rollatini, roast tomatoes and butternut soup, shrimp tortellini, liver salad with mushrooms, to fish and poultry, like kingklip tranches with grapefruit sauce or the poached Chicken breasts (with back Bacon, apples, rosti potatoes, cheese and grain mustard). Besides these, there is the traditional maize, which is used for the sadza (a stiff maize dish) and the whawha (maize beer).

People in Zimbabwean Food Edit

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Zimbabwean chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Zimbabwean dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Zimbabwean chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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