Most Zambian Restaurants reflect local culture. These are places where you see food tourism in Zambia at its best!
Here is where you can learn about the Zambian food; how the Zambians eat, the culture of the country, the customs, and even sample a few Zambian languages!
Nshima is the Zambian staple food and it is the main food item on the menu. Nshima is always taken with a side dish known as relish. On average, Zambians take two meals of nshima a day, at noon and in the evening, but you can request for Nshima in a restaurant any time of the day.
The Restaurants will serve you Zambian food. Or in short, Nshima with a side dish, and it could be any dish. The table is not completely laid out without a side dish. Each meal of Nshima requires a different type of side dish.
There are varieties of side dishes to choose from; vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, but all with a Zambian touch. If you looked closely at the menu, the list reads like;
So, Nshima is the dominant item on the menu!
You have to choose your favourite relish to go with it. The side dish in local languages can be translated as ‘umunani’ or ‘Ndiyo’. Since Nshima is eaten every day, the side dish served with it is the only thing that changes at meals.
Being the staple food of the country, Nshima is found in most Zambian restaurants. Nshima is such a big part of the Zambian culture and history that many rituals, customs, beliefs, and songs have developed around cooking and eating this dish.
In Zambia, different people call Nshima by different names depending on the language and geographical location. Nevertheless, it constitutes the full and complete meal to most people. Apart from Nshima, any foods taken in between are regarded as snacks or as appetizers, that’s the Zambian way!
Nshima is cooked using corn meal or maize flour commonly called mealie meal and Zambian Restaurants serve Nshima cooked using mealie meal.
In Zambia, people eat using hands, which is usually the right hand. When you are in a restaurant and you are served Nshima with a side dish of your choice, you will be given clean water to wash your hands with before eating. And you will do the same at the end of your meal. Generally, meals go with water to drink.
The next time you feel like filling up, get yourself into any of the nearest Zambia Restaurants and enjoy some Zambian food!
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