Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Hometown Beverage; Ocissangua

Amongst the traditional Ovimbundu people in southern Angola, the homemade beverage ocissangua or kissangua is regularly consumed and plays an important part in the culture of the people.  The drink is made solely of corn flour and water and is permitted to ferment slightly for a better taste.  (I have often been offered the drink as a guest when I thought that it was let to ferment far too long!!)

According to culture, the drink is required to be on hand at all times in order to be given as the 'first meal' to visitors and to other special honorable guests in the home in order to quench or 'kill' their hunger and thirst.  Considering the economic limitations of the rural Angolans and their large supply of corn, this drink is often consumed more than water if the water supply is contaminated.

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