FOOD IN KENYA
03-07-2020 di redazione
We are well aware of the history and travails of the African continent: few strains and thousands of tribes scattered over an area of about 30 million square kilometers, who have paid a bitter duty to the evolution of the Western world, suffering equal treatment in every corner of their wild and sunny land.
Like the peoples and nature, the cuisine has suffered from European colonization, which has its roots even before the eighteenth century.
Arabs and Portuguese, Chinese and Indians, mostly merchants and adventurers, had already invaded the coasts and circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope, when the Old Continent decided to pitch their tents in the forests, at the edge of deserts, on the slopes of mountains or plateaus, after going up rivers and discovering lakes and waterfalls. Years later the paths marked out by explorers would become runways beaten by the first off-road vehicles, the savannah would be divided by the railway and the first airports would appear.
Yet in much of Africa lunch and dinner remained the same as when the white man did not exist. A bowl of rice, a shred of meat almost charred by a rudimentary barbecue, a handful of polenta to work with your hands and dip in a miserable sauce, a cup of tea that looks like dirty water, infested by insects. This is the image that often leads us back to African food. It is impossible not to think about world hunger, famine, poverty and the climatic and geological conditions that condition the lives of millions of people.
The traditional iconography of the child begging the tourist, unfortunately, is still current but is fortunately leaving room for the emergence of the awareness of a developing continent (albeit slowly and with new problems), which tries to shake off the impositions of history and the sort of fatalism that has caused its secular submission.
Through cooking, we can appreciate how humility, exploitation of primary resources and satisfaction of the palate can be combined with harmony and refinement.
East and subequatorial Africa, for example, is rich in nature's products and there is no lack of the fundamental elements of nourishment. We can undoubtedly say that in Kenya, for example, only olive oil is missing among the main ingredients of world gastronomy (but also Chinese cuisine, among the most varied and important in the world, does without it).
In South Africa excellent wine is produced, rated among the absolute best on our planet, the fertile waters of the Indian Ocean are teeming with every variety of fish and shellfish; the fruit trees, mostly tropical, have allowed grafting and created plantations of typical Mediterranean products, in addition to the sweet local ones.
In this page you will therefore find a three-hundred and sixty degree view of East African cuisine, from typical tribal dishes to the changes made over time by the Arabs and Indians, up to the contamination that in the last fifty years has mixed the Anglo-Saxon conception of seasoning with Middle Eastern spices, Mediterranean fish cuisine with strong Indian flavors, French and Italian refinement with the needs of a people accustomed to consider food as a tasteless, necessary, simple daily organic requirement.
As already noted by the writer Ernest Hemingway, who loved to stay in Kenya and Tanzania, you will see that enjoying the wonderful fruits that this land offers and - we add - mixing them with taste, will seem something more than a special dinner: it will mean tasting our origins, our roots, how much closer there is to Mother Nature, to the human being. Without giving up the pleasure of good food and discovering exoticism
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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