Friday, November 13, 2009

Angolan Food. Yum!

One question too that I am asked a lot from my previous experience in Angola is, "What do you eat in Angola?"  This is an important question, since the palatability of the food in a different culture really affects the longevity and enjoyment of serving in that culture.  I believe that a country's food also tells a lot about their culture and their history and eating it helps you to identify with the people better.  One elderly wise African would repeatedly tell me to: "Continually eat more of our food and you will speak our language better!"

Now since the war has ceased there in Angola, foreign food imports have begun trickling in, allowing one to purchase now some normal 'western-type' food such as Kelloggs Corn Flakes.  So a expatriate living in an urban center could purchase foodstuffs now that very much like what is available in North America.

But the Angolan food that is distinct and interesting is what I want to cover here.

Funge: This is the staple of the Angolan diet and it can be made with corn meal (funge) or with yucca/manioc flour (bombô).  Some say that this food is like polenta or very thick grits, but realistically, no. The texture of funge is very sticky and neither version really has any flavor, so I find that it is best eaten with the gravy or beans that come with your meal.  I actually don't mind eating this.

Rice and Beans:  This an easily prepared and regular staple for Angolans, and the low cost and starchiness of the rice provides a cheap, stomach-filling meal.  Most of the beans are grown locally, but all the rice is imported since it is not grown in the country.

Frango (Chicken) or Cabrito (Goat):  It seems that since Angolans always have chickens or goats running around their properties that they eat it regularly. In reality, because of their price, these animals are generally saved to be served for special occasions.  On various occasions while on visits to very rural areas, I learned that our hosts slaughtered their only chicken or goat in order to prepare a meal for us.  It humbled me to realize the sacrifice that they made.  Though  both chickens and goats are essentially free-range, very often the meat is very tough or rubbery.  The both meats are often served with a bean sauce which makes it very tasty.  


shaun said...

Do you think things will change food-wise in Angola now that Nestlé is opening a factory?

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