Tanzania Team 7

Tanzania Team 7
At the Morogoro Regional Commissioner Office

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cultural Adaptations: Food in Tanzania

Hassan commented that African food has “no art to it”: African food is simple, honest, unadorned, hearty and mostly organic. Starch in the form of cooked banana, lots of rice, potatoes and ugali (a stiff paste made from corn with the consistency of bleached cardboard – haven’t tasted it yet though) figure prominently. 

African food is unabashedly unapologetic – what you see it what you get – no disguise under exotic sauces, no clever interplay of colour and texture or fussy garnishing – just chunks of meat and big pieces of vegetable, ready to eat!

Single serving dishes such as meat stewed with vegetables, are typical. Portions tend to be on the generous side, and these vast intakes of calories hint at the origins of the cuisine, and the workmanlike nature of life that it sustains.

Eating out at an African restaurant redefines the boundaries of service, especially when fifteen of us all order at the same time.  As the Tanzanians say, “Pole Pole” – “Slowly slowly”.

On Sunday, it took up to 120 minutes between ordering and getting the food – and it was the wrong order too.  On another occasion, we waited 90 minutes – and this seems to be pretty much the norm in Tanzanian restaurants! 

Lee Yu Kit, Team 3

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