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Namibia - Cooking and Food
Overview of Namibian Cuisine History
The Republic of Namibia is a vast country situated along the south Atlantic coast of Africa at south of the Equator. Namibia, before identified as South West Africa, is bordered by South Africa in the south, Angola and Zambia in the north and Botswana and Zimbabwe in the east. The oldest desert in the world, the Namib Desert stretches along the whole west coast of the country, while the Kalahari Desert runs along south borders with Botswana. Namibian cuisine is based on German tradition and influences. Local staples are corn or millet porridge with meat or fish stews, but Namibian cuisine will offer more often fats, dead animals due to the fact that Namibian people respect traditions. Due to the fact that the country has a great sea opening, fish is as well an important ingredient in Namibian cuisine. Local plates are heavy on pasta, meat and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, celery and rice. Beside Lamb and Pork meat, people from Namibia also eat poultry, rabbit and Pork products like Ham, sausages and frog.
Cuisine in Namibia is interesting and varied. In the south part of Namibia the most frequent component is the corn. The corn is used in preparing the bread which is generally served with shellfish, in season or tomato-based sauces. The most common meat type used in the southern cuisine is fish and Chicken, schnitzel, plus good, fresh seafood, but we can also find goat, Beef and bush rat. As for vegetables the most popular are rice, beans, tomatoes and couscous due to the fact that the climate in Namibia is hot and dry. It's very simple to find fruits in this country principally oranges, bananas, mandarin oranges, pineapples, kiwi, avocado, peanuts. Namibia is known all over Africa for its exotic dishes and its exotic ingredients which offer an exclusive taste. Beans and rice is a popular dish served as appetizer in west part of Namibia. Namibian meat is characterized by top position locally produced Beef and mutton, animal protein including ostrich, zebra, Game Birds, and seafood such as kabeljou, rock lobster and oysters. Outdoor cooking is part of the Namibian way of life. The traditional braaivleis which is meat barbecue is a delicious meal, as is potjiekos, a hot stew of meat, Chicken or fish cooked over an open fire in a cast-iron, three-legged pot.
Preparation Methods for Namibian Cooking
While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Namibian cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Namibian cuisine. Namibian cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes, like German or French. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Namibia is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Namibian regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Namibian dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates from a region to another.
Special Equipment for Namibian Cooking
In the Namibian cuisine there is a large variety cooking equipments from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories. The Namibia cuisine requests various food preparation equipment set in order to produce the most refined Namibian dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Namibian food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slickers, and kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Necessary utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should as well be part of your cooking "munitions store".
Namibian Food Traditions and Festivals
People from Namibia have a large number of festivals, national holidays which engage culinary traditions. The national day is in 21 March and the locals prepare braai which is barbecue and potjie, because braai is an essential part or any Namibian inhabitant. Braai is cooked from red meat with vegetables and dried fruits and herbs. Other important holidays are the Workers Day, Cassinga Day, Ascension Day, Africa Day, Heroes day, Women's Day, Christmas day and New year day, when Namibian people serve traditions foods and special dishes. For special occasion’s people from Namibia make a stew from sea shelves, tomatoes, Onion and the local hot sauce named potjiekos or as bitlong which they serve with Chicken meat. Landjäger, a smoked Pork and Beef Sausage, is another traditional snack which is served in family because Namibians believe that this plate offer great energy.
People in Namibian Food
- Are you into Namibian Cooking and would like to be interviewed?
In Namibia the cooking and preparing of the food is frequently done by the women. Women have to systematize the daily meals according to their financial possibilities and according to the accessibility of the ingredients. There are many chefs who creatively use the essential ingredients and cooking process for traditional Namibian dishes and make innovative and tasty food variations. Namibian chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who has never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Namibian chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.