Food and drink in Mozambique

Mozambican cuisine occupies a unique niche in terms of where it came from and where it is going. Combining the best of Portuguese flair, Indian flavor and a touch of African ingenuity, Mozambique’s cuisine is a delight for everyone. Drinks in Mozambique are what you usually find in the rest of the world, with one or two exceptions.

Keep in mind that Mozambicans love to add pepper to many of their dishes, so be prepared for the food to be hot. You will also find that there are many informal food stalls offering delicious food, but each must be taken on its true worth due to the large number of infectious diseases in the country.

Local food

Local food is heavily based on starch like rice and potatoes, as well as meat and seafood. Vegetarian dishes are not common, but they can be found with a little effort, although most people won’t understand why you don’t want to eat meat. Some of the local specialties include:

  • Meat: Beef is called beefel (which means steak) and chicken is called frango. Both of these meats are usually served with various additives such as cashews, coconut, beans, and various spices. You will also find Prego Steak Sandwiches, which is a burger made with a steak topped with chili sauce. Pepper is very widely used, so keep this in mind if you don’t like hot food.

  • Fruit: This is any of a wide range of fresh fruits.

  • Matata: A traditional Mozambican seafood stew made with peanuts.

  • Posho: Corn porridge considered a staple food in poorer regions.

  • Batata Fritas: French fries called chips by the locals.

  • Peixe grelhade: Translated as “catch of the day,” this is a very popular seafood dish due to its ever-changing variety and freshness.

There are many other dishes with regional variations that will make your dinner very interesting. Traditionally, lunch (almoco) is the main meal in Mozambique, and therefore breakfast (pequeno almoco) is usually quite small. For wealthier families with financial means, dinner (jantar) is seen as a main course, as well as an opportunity to entertain guests.

Beverages

Both tea (cha is local tea) and coffee are quite popular in Mozambique and can be found almost everywhere. As far as alcoholic drinks are concerned, they are also quite widespread and you will often enjoy a glass of Portuguese wine with your meal. Another favorite of the company is its corn-based beer, which is traditionally drunk from a common pot at social gatherings. You should be warned about a local beer called Nipa, which is known to be dangerous and rarely found due to its incredibly high alcohol content. There is also a wide selection of beers from South Africa and Namibia, as well as some commercially brewed local beers.

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