Essay about The Culture of African Cuisine
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The forest not only hides man's enemies but it’s full of man's medicine, healing power and food. ~African Proverb.
Africa is a continent that is rich and diverse in terms of culture and traditions. The continent is also considered to be the agricultural hub in the world. Due to this, most of African culture is ultimately intertwined with the foodstuffs that the land has to offer. In general, most of the inhabitants of Africa live within the rural areas and rely on subsistent farming to meet their day to day food needs. Fast food restaurants and supermarkets where processed and packaged food is sold are usually frowned upon and considered a waste of money and resources (AIG, 2011).
CHARACTERISTICS OF AFRICAN FOOD
African foods are…show more content…
Beans, cassava, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes and sweet potatoes thus were introduced to Africa as a direct cause of the European exploring of the American continent. Asian seasonings like pepper, cinnamon, clove, curry and nutmeg were introduced as well. More often than not, the ingredients used to prepare an African dish are fresh, very cheap and easily used to make a quick meal. Common vegetables include kale, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, avocados and other leafy greens, while beef and goat meat are the common meats served in an African meal. Fish, chicken, and mutton are also available but are more expensive (AIG, 2011). Meat is often used merely as one of a number of flavorings, rather than as a main ingredient in cooking. Tropical fruits such as mangoes, oranges, pineapples, bananas, papaws, and pears are cheap, plentiful and popular among the people of Africa, because they are not available all year round and are dictated by seasons. Other ingredients used in typical dishes include rice, corn meal or maize, wheat and millet flour.
Yams, plantains, green bananas and cassava are the essential staples in Africa. These vegetables are grown and used all over the continent, either on their own or combined with others. Cassava is an important source of dietary carbohydrates in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world, with its roots providing food for over 500 million
Rules of an African Culture
Before 1990, men were not allowed to milk cows, but due toother religious influences, they now can. Something most don't believe when Iexplain is that all Herero girls' dresses must fall below their knees. Girls arenot allowed to talk to boys, and they must cook and collect wood from the forest.Youth are not allowed to look into an elder person's eyes when talking; if youdo, you will offend him or her, and show that you were not raised properly.
These rules still exist, though they are easing. I believe they helpmaintain discipline and prevent teen drug use and pregnancy. I sometimes likefollowing the elders and trying to obey them for a weekend, but it is veryhard.
In the Herero culture, women are very important and are respected,but they don't have any say in many decisions. Moving livestock from home to themarket was not done without a woman because our sheep and cows are sacred. EveryHerero man must have these animals, or he will be seen as someone who doesn'tbelieve in the culture and tradition, and be hated by other Hereros.
AHerero man should marry a Herero woman, but if he wants to marry someone fromanother culture or tradition, his father decides. Most of the time, the fatherfinds a woman for his son, who is told when his wedding day will be, even thoughhe has never seen the bride. With my parents, my mother was told she was gettingmarried the next morning, though she didn't know who my father was, and shecouldn't say no because what her father said was what would happen, whether shewanted to or not.
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