Food

4 Food Preservation Methods Common To African Cuisine

group of people standing on brown ground
Written by ademadouma

For many years, food on the African continent has been preserved while not the advantage of refrigeration. How? this text describes four strategies of food preservation common in Africa.

1. Sun-drying

For many Africans, the sun is a crucial thing in food preservation. shortly when the harvest, grains like millet, maize, sorghum, green gram, and wheat, moreover as pulses like beans and peas square measure opened up within the sun to dry. If fully dried or wet, these foodstuffs will last a really very long time – generally years – if held on in a very cool, dry place and guarded against pests.

Most households had a depot-designed approach on top of the bottom, wherever foodstuffs were held on. additionally to drying, it had been conjointly common to use wood ash to pulses like beans and peas to discourage insect infestation. The ash may simply be washed out before cookery the pulses.

Various kinds of vegetables, tubers, and fish also can be with success preserved during this approach. Tubers like cassava or sweet potato could need to be sliced into skinny items to facilitate drying.

2. Smoking

Smoking is another necessary technique of food preservation. Formerly, when the hunt, hunters smoke-dried massive amounts of the meat for easier transport back home, and conjointly to preserve it. it had been common to smoke game meat, whereas livestock was typically consumed contemporarily when slaughtering.

Smoking fish continues to be a really necessary technique for protective fish, used everywhere on the continent.

3. Salting

Photograph of Chopped Sweet Potatoes on a Chopping Board

Salt was typically applied to foodstuffs so as to preserve them, in conjunction with sun-drying and smoking. several trained workers munificently salt fish before sun-drying or smoking it, to improve the possibilities that it’ll not decay. the seasoning was conjointly applied to sure vegetables throughout the sun-drying method.

4. Using fat


High angle appetizing sliced cured pork fat and smoked sausages served on sideboard with cheese and olives during buffet catering
A few communities used fat to preserve food. These were principally communities that herded animals, like unsettled communities. as an example, among the Somali, once an artiodactyl was slaughtered, a part of the meat was lyonnaise in generous amounts of fat and salt. it had been then held on for future use. The meat remained appropriate for human consumption as a result of the big amounts of fat during which it had been lyonnaise and hold on, and therefore the salt.

Many elements of Africa still don’t have the mandatory electrical infrastructure necessary for sustained refrigeration. ancient strategies of food preservation still play a significant role keep food edible for uncountable individuals.

These strategies, like sun-drying, smoking, seasoning and victimization fat, haven’t solely stood the take a look at of your time – they’re conjointly cheap and property while not requiring an excessive amount of energy.

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