Zimbabwe’s main staple food is called sadza, a cornmeal dish that is accompanied by various sides. Sadza to the Zimbabweans is like rice to the Chinese, or pasta to Italians. In fact, sadza re masikati , or “sadza of the afternoon” simply means lunch. Sadza re manheru, or “sadza of the evening” means dinner. Sadza is made from cornmeal or maize, and eaten with relish. Relish can be any kind of vegetable stew, but nyama, (meat), such as beef or chicken, is common among families who can afford it. Sadza is cooked slowly until thick, like porridge.

Other traditional foods are peanuts, beans, butternut squash, gem squash, green maize (or corn on the cob), and cucumbers. Avocados are plentiful and cheap. Bowara , or pumpkin leaves, can be eaten fresh and are commonly mixed into stews, like dovi (peanut butter stew).

Meat and game such as beef, springbok (African gazelle), kudu (large antelope), and goat are eaten, the larger game reserved for special occasions. At more expensive restaurants, crocodile tail, shoulder of impala (a type of antelope), and warthog may be on the menu.

During the summer, open-air markets sell dried mopane worms (spiny caterpillars) and flying ants by the pound. Both can be eaten fried and are said to taste chewy and salty. Flying ants fly in dense clouds around any source of light during the summer, and can be eaten live. The wings are torn off, then the bodies are eaten. The taste is considered slightly buttery.

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