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Food in Mozambique

Centuries of foreign domination have left their mark on the food of Mozambique. In the urban centres, a cross section of Asian and European cuisines is available; the many nationalities that came to Mozambique brought with them their own food and cooking styles. The local cuisine has borrowed and modified these many styles to suit the staple items of native African diets.

The staple food is maize ‘porridge’ that is cooked over a fire and eaten with a vegetable or meat stew. The women spend hours pounding the maize into flour using wooden poles before cooking it. Cornmeal, millet, rice and accompanying hot stews are common to most regions but the Portuguese influence is very much in evidence in the use of certain spices and in the use of wine. One such dish is Matata - clams cooked in port wine with finely chopped peanuts and tender young greens and tropical fruits like pineapple.

A favorite dish of the interior is Frango a Cafrial that means, "Chicken, the African way." The coastal region has a highly developed cuisine using the wonderful fish, seafood and tropical fruits found in such abundance in the area. Coconut, coconut milk and hot peppers are universal to most dishes prepared here. As one moves inward, meat replaces the seafood though fish is now freshwater kind caught in the rivers, but maize and rice remain the staple cereals.

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