Musa-ings on the Mato(o)ke Mysteries (1): The Kitchen

[~ 7 minutes]

Listening to: Etana, On my Way

{In case you’re wondering, “Uganda? Uhm, but why?”, an intro to these Ugandan Portraits may be found here.}

My deepest thanks go to Kato and Liz for their great help in sharing with me what they know about Ugandan food, and in this case, most particularly matooke.

One of the funniest conversations I recall witnessing (and, I confess, encouraging) in Uganda was the criticism leveled at Italian food by, let’s call him E: Italian food is, in E’s opinion, much less diverse than Ugandan food. And he’s been to Italy—and hosted by Italians!—, so he’s had a sample of the country’s cuisine.

This is akin to gastronomical sacrilege to an Italian. No, really. We were lucky nobody ended up stabbed with a fork.

The reasons put forward by E were the following: in Italy, everything boils down to pasta. It’s always pasta cooked in one way or the other, mixed with one sauce or the other. So, the starchy basis of diet is always the same.

In Uganda, on the other hand, you have many different starchy possible basis: you have matoke, or Irish potatoes, or sweet potatoes, or cassava, or millet, or maize… And each of these, you can combine with many sauces. Continue reading