Congolese cuisine

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The cuisine of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo varies widely, representing the food of indigenous people. Cassava, fufu , rice, plantain and potatoes are generally the staple foods eaten with other side dishes.

Contents

Common Congolese Dishes

Mangoes, available all year round Mangoes from DRC, these are available all year round.jpg
Mangoes, available all year round
Moambe chicken is the national dish of the Congos Moambe chicken.jpg
Moambe chicken is the national dish of the Congos
Loso ya boulayi, ntaba, mipanzi, kwanga, makemba et salade Congolese Food.jpg
Loso ya boulayi, ntaba, mipanzi, kwanga , makemba et salade

Less than two percent of the land is cultivated, and most of this is used for subsistence farming. Congo's farmland is the source of a wide variety of crops. These include maize, rice, cassava (manioc), sweet potatoes, yam, taro, plantain, tomatoes, pumpkin and varieties of peas and nuts. These foods are eaten throughout the country, but there are also regional dishes. The most important crops for export are coffee and palm oil.

Sakamadesu (Tshakamadesu) Saka-madesu.jpg
Sakamadesu (Tshakamadesu)

Wild plants, [1] fruits, mushrooms, [1] honey and other foods such as bushmeat and fish are also gathered, hunted, and used in dishes. [1] People often sell these crops at markets, or by the roadside. Cattle breeding and the development of large-scale agricultural businesses has been hindered by the recent war and the poor quality of the road system.

Cossa Cossa--Congo River Prawns Cossa Cossa.jpg
Cossa Cossa—Congo River Prawns
Congolese street food - Smoked meat Malewa Congo.jpg
Congolese street food - Smoked meat
Madesu Madesu.jpg
Madesu

Congolese meals often consist of a starchy ingredient, along with vegetables and meat in the form of a stew. The starch can come in the form of a paste or mash made of cassava or corn flour, called fufu or ugali . When eaten, the fufu is rolled into golf ball-sized balls and dipped into the spicy stew—often an indentation is made with the thumb in order to bring up a thimbleful of sauce.

A type of fermented bread, kwanga, made from cassava, is commercially produced throughout the country. Lituma is a popular plantain dish made from mashed plantains which are formed into balls and baked. Sweet potatoes are prepared in a similar way, and mixed with roasted peanuts in some parts of the country. Rice is often mixed with beans.

To accompany these starchy ingredients, green vegetables such as cassava leaves, tshitekutaku (a spinach-like plant) and okra are often added. Mushrooms, especially prized amongst the Luba people, are often seen as a substitute for meat in times of shortage. Though total vegetarianism is unknown, most meals are eaten without meat due to its high price.

Fish are plentiful along the River Congo, its tributaries, and various lakes, and are baked, boiled or fried for immediate consumption, or smoked or salted when preserved. Markets often sell ready-to-eat peppered fish baked in banana leaves. Goat is the most widely consumed meat. [1] Mwambe is a common way of cooking chicken with peanut sauce. [1] Edible insects such as grasshoppers and caterpillars are eaten; [1] they tend to have a nutty flavour.

Sauces to mix with the ingredients above can be made with tomatoes, onions, and the local aromatic herbs. Vegetable oil, together with salt, hot red chile pepper and sweet green pepper are used to impart extra flavour. These spices are less frequently used in the far south.

Nganda restaurants

Kinshasa's nganda restaurants, with a greater mix of ethnicities, are ethnic restaurants serving food from specific parts of the country, as well as Western imports such as bread and beer. [2] Often owned by unmarried women, the nganda occupy a middle ground between bars and restaurants. Three typical types of nganda restaurants are:

Nganda restaurants are often geared not only to specific regions, but also different classes—from migrant menial workers and miners, to professionals and government officials.

List of Congolese foods

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Piri piri peppers (ripe and unripe)

See also

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Gabonese cuisine

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Cuisine of Guinea

Guinean cuisine includes the traditional dishes of fou fou, boiled mango, fried plantains, patates and pumpkin pie.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mukenge, Tshilemalema (2002.) "Culture and customs of the Congo." Greenwood Press. ISBN   0-313-31485-3
  2. "How to get beer around Congo, a country with hardly any roads". The Economist. 18 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.