For hundreds of years, food items on the African continent has been preserved without the profit of refridgeration. How? This post describes four strategies of foodstuff preservation common in Africa.

1. Sunshine-drying

For a lot of Africans, the sunshine is an critical component in meals preservation. Soon right after the harvest, grains these as millet, maize, sorghum, green gram, and wheat, as nicely as pulses these types of as beans and peas are distribute out in the solar to dry. If totally dried of dampness, these foodstuffs can very last a quite long time – sometimes several years – if saved in a amazing, dry spot and shielded from pests.

Most homes experienced a granary created way earlier mentioned the floor, exactly where foodstuffs ended up saved. In addition to drying, it was also widespread to apply wooden ash to pulses like beans and peas to discourage insect infestation. The ash could conveniently be washed out before cooking the pulses.

Various kinds of vegetables, tubers and fish can also be successfully preserved in this way. Tubers this kind of as cassava or sweet potato may possibly have to be sliced into thin pieces to aid drying.

2. Smoking cigarettes

Smoking is a different significant technique of food stuff preservation. Formerly, after the hunt, hunters smoked huge amounts of the meat for much easier transport back dwelling, and also to maintain it. It was common to smoke recreation meat, while domestic animals have been usually eaten fresh immediately after slaughtering.

Cigarette smoking fish is nevertheless a quite important system of preserving fish, utilized all above the continent.

3. Salting

Salt was normally used to foodstuffs in purchase to protect them, in conjunction with solar-drying and smoking. Several fisherman generously salt fish before sunlight-drying or cigarette smoking it, to even more increase the odds that it will not decay. Salting was also utilized to specific greens through the sunlight-drying approach.

4. Applying fat

A few communities utilized body fat to protect meals. These had been mostly communities that herded animals, these kinds of as nomadic communities. For instance, among the the Somali, when a camel was slaughtered, part of the meat was cooked in generous quantities of extra fat and salt. It was then stored for long run use. The meat remained suitable for human intake for the reason that of the huge amounts of extra fat in which it was cooked and saved, and the salt.

Lots of components of Africa still do not have the necessary electrical infrastructure essential for sustained refridgeration. Conventional strategies of food preservation continue on to participate in a vital purpose in maintaining meals edible for tens of millions of people.

These strategies, these kinds of as sunshine-drying, cigarette smoking, salting and working with fat, have not only stood the check of time – they are also reasonably priced and sustainable without having demanding way too substantially electricity.

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