What do Zimbabweans actually eat?
Zimbabwean cuisine is not internationally recognized. Well, not in the same way as we recognize Jollof rice from Nigeria and Chito from Ghana. This isn’t because Zimbabwean food is not delicious or interesting; but because people don’t actually know what Zimbabweans eat and what is happening the Zim Food scene. There are over a million Zimbabweans who are “home away from home” living abroad. Many of which eat Sadza, the Zimbabwean staple food, as part of their main diet irrespective of they where they have moved to. You can take a person out of Zimbabwe, but you can never the Zimbabwe out of a person. The Zim food scene is not limited to Zimbabwean households enjoying Sadza in the privacy of their homes. It is about wider influence of Zimbabwean food locally and internationally through restaurants and dining experiences, social media and food products.
Locally, Zimbabweans are becoming innovative with food. Partly that innovation is fueled by the need to reduce food waste due to scarcity and high food costs. The other reason for innovation is, it has become the go-to strategy for businesses in the food supply chain to be more profitable. Gango is an example for Zimbabweans overtly being innovative. Gango a new trendy dish that is concoction of pan-fried assorted meats like tripe, beef and chicken mixed with locally produced vegetables. Last year, the first Gango Festival was hosted in Harare; where Zimbabwean foodies and restaurateurs competed to win the title of Best Gango. This was broadcasted on National television.
With that in mind, there is a growing global recognition of the transnational Zimbabwean community. Internationally, more people are taking an interest in knowing Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans; particularly because of the recent dramatic political changes and the influence of actress Danai Gurira in the Black Panther movie. With all things considered, the Zim food scene abroad still seems to be an untapped area. Not because Zimbabweans are not doing anything food related, but simply because, there aren’t enough platforms and influencers talking about them!
Word of mouth and content broadcasted on mainstream and social media are the main sources where non-Zimbabweans and Zimbabweans abroad gain insight into the country’s pop-culture. From a food perspective, popularizing Zimbabwean cuisine to gain its so-deserving recognition will require a concerted effort.
This new section of the Zim Abroad Magazine seeks to will present the most exciting restaurants; the most passionate chefs and the most interesting dining experiences the Zim Food scene has got to offer. This will be done through reviews and interviews. The Food section on the Zim Abroad Magazine will be a platform to showcase and advertise Zimbabwean talent within food industry.
About the Author
Caz is an avid food enthusiast and a self-taught cook based in London. Her passion for food was ignited at the age of 14 when she was unintentionally entered a cooking competition. After coming a close second in the final round of the cooking competition which was held at the Haven Hotel in Poole, Caz’s adventures with food began.
Caz experiments with traditional Zimbabwean recipes transforming them with her own twist. Notable creations include, Sadza Bites. She specialises in bespoke catering for a variety of events; from dinners and lunch parties, to large and intimate events. Notable clients to have tasted Caz’s creations either at events or on a personal level include: Afrotrap, Afrokings, Simba Tagz and Mr Kamera.
Caz creates memorable and intimate Pop-Up events and dining experiences throughout the year. Previous events include: Caz’s Picnic Party, The Boozy African Brunch, Afro-Centric Street Food at NorthCote and the New Zimbabwe Cookout.
Since 2016, Caz has been working on, Hokoyo! her signature marinade for both meat and vegetable dishes. The release for this product will be for summer 2018 and samples will be available on request.
Caz also provides food consultancy services which include food styling, product testing and restaurant reviews.
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