Zimbabwe cuisine is interestingly straightforward and pretty much revolves around staple foods. The most common of which is sadza, a thick porridge made of white maize.
Sadza is to Zimbabweans what rice is to Asians. It is eaten every meal and served with meat, gravy, greens, and beans. It is typically shaped into balls.
If you’re up for an African gastronomical adventure, don’t just stop at sadza. Look for the following:
Mopane worms are edible caterpillars usually eaten as is or with sadza. They are called madora or mashonja in Shona language and macimbi in Ndebele.
Very rich in protein, these would-be moths taste like tea leaves. To give them a flavorful edge, Zimbabweans have them sun dried, fried, and served in sauce.
Eating mopane worms is an adventure in itself. You have to first pinch the tail and squeeze the slimy innards into your mouth. Sometimes there would still be portions of dried leaves in the gut.
Boerewors is a coiled beef sausage popular in Zimbabwe and other parts of southern Africa. It has Dutch roots but derives its name from Afrikaans language. Boer means farmer and wors means sausage.
It is prepared by mincing beef and spicing it with nutmeg, black pepper, coriander seed, and other spices. The meat mixture is then stuffed into a sausage casing.
Pork is also often added to beef.
Boerewors is usually eaten with sadza. It is normally barbecued but is also sometimes fried.
Biltong is another Dutch influence. And although it can be found in other parts of the world, nothing compares to the experience of eating biltong in Zimbabwe.
Biltong is similar to the popular jerky, but it lacks the sweet flavor. Beef and game meats are used for this.
The meat is cut into strips and marinated in cider or balsamic vinegar. The meat strips will then be rubbed and sprinkled with spice mixture, which include sugar, salt, black pepper, coriander, and bicarbonate of soda. Finally, they will be dried for several hours to enhance the flavor.
Biltong is usually eaten as snack, but it can also be used for other dishes.
Papaya, locally known as mapopo, is one of the primary crops in Zimbabwe, and the locals love turning them into candies.
Mapopo candy is in fact a well-loved sweet in Zimbabwe. Like any other fruit candy, it is cooked in and dusted with sugar.
This traditional Zimbabwean sweet is a nice meal-ender. It also is something you’d like to munch on while idling your time away in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans have a practical use for sour milk – they pour it over sadza. In fact, sour milk is a good alternative to the meat and vegetables that usually accompany the porridge.
Sour milk is prepared by fermenting milk in a container. But today, it is readily available in stores. Sour milk tastes like yogurt, so in case you decide to try it with sadza, trust that your taste buds won’t register it as anything foreign.