Zambia - Food and Drink
The cuisine of Zambia has been influenced by other cultures; however, it has remained traditionally African. In suburban Zambia, there is a mixture of both African foods and international fare with choices ranging from Chinese, Indian and French to Thai food. In more rural Zambia, indigenous cuisines are the mainstay, relying heavily on local and fresh produce. Camps, hotels and lodges cater to the international traveler and usually provide some western styled foods.
Popular dishes include:
Nishma: This is the native cuisine of Zambia. It is a cooked porridge that is made from maize. A thin version is made for breakfast and is usually flavoured with sugar. A thicker version is for lunch or dinner and resembles mashed potatoes. Nishma is often an accompaniment to many dishes.
Ifisashi: This is a popular dish that is made up of peanuts cooked with green vegetables. If meat is available, it can be added. Ifisashi is usually served with Nshima.
Kapenta: This is a dish in which perch is dried and seared with onions, tomatoes, garlic and green vegetables. It is usually served with rice and a garnish of fresh lemon and ground nuts.
Curried gazelle: Cubed rump gazelle steaks are cooked with garlic, plantains and raisins.
There are two different types of beer found in Zambia, clear and opaque. The clear beers are similar to those found in Europe and popular brands are Mosi, Castle and Rhino lagers which are brewed by South African breweries with Zambian subsidiaries. There is one craft brewery in Zambia that makes Dr. Livingstone Lager, Zikomo Copper Ale, Safari Stout and Baobab White. Opaque beer is sometimes called Chibuku after the market leading brand and is a commercial version of traditional beer that is brewed from maize or sorghum. Opaque beer is generally consumed by locals and tourists normally ignore it. Water in major Zambian towns is usually safe to drink as it has been purified; however, it is advisable to drink bottled water. If unsure whether water is safe, guides or locals should be consulted.
Things to know:
Tipping is technically illegal in Zambia; however, a 10% service charge is often added to bills in most restaurants.
Zambia Travel Information
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