The traditional diet in Angola is influenced by its diverse cultural heritage and availability of local ingredients. The country's cuisine reflects Portuguese, African, and indigenous culinary traditions. Here are some typical foods and dietary habits in Angola:
Staple Foods: The main staple in Angola is funge, a thick porridge made from cassava or cornmeal. It is often served with various accompaniments.
Fish and Seafood: As a coastal country, Angola has a rich seafood culture. Fresh fish, shrimp, lobster, and other seafood are commonly consumed, either grilled, fried, or stewed.
Meat: Angola is also known for its meat dishes, particularly grilled meats. Grilled chicken (frango grelhado) and grilled beef (carne grelhada) are popular choices.
Beans and Rice: Beans, such as feijão de óleo (oily beans), are a common side dish and are often served with rice.
Vegetables: Various vegetables like tomatoes, onions, okra, cabbage, and greens are used in Angolan cuisine. They are often incorporated into stews, soups, or served as side dishes.
Condiments and Spices: Palm oil is widely used in Angolan cooking, giving dishes a distinctive flavor. Other common seasonings include garlic, onions, bay leaves, and various local spices.
Fruits: Angola is abundant in tropical fruits such as bananas, papayas, mangoes, pineapples, and citrus fruits. These fruits are enjoyed fresh or used in juices and desserts.
Street Food: Angolan street food is popular and diverse. You can find snacks like roasted corn, grilled meats, fried fish, and various pastries sold by street vendors.
Beverages: Maize-based drinks, like the locally brewed beer called "cuca," are common. Angolans also enjoy tropical fruit juices, coconut water, and tea.
Cassava is the most important food in Angola. It can be made into flour, bread, tapioca, or even alcohol. Fuba ("Foo-bar") is another popular dish made from cassava. The raw cassava root is poisonous and requires careful preparation before eating. The leaves of the cassava plant are removed and used to make Kizaka ("kiz-AH-ka") a vegetable dish. Besides cassava, millet and corn are staple foods.
Fish is also an important source of food. A typical family does not eat meat because it cannot afford it. Only on special occasions is a family-owned chicken or duck killed and eaten. Breakfast usually consists of funje ("PHON-jee") or bread, and a porridge made from cassava. Coffee is a popular drink. Lunch is often quick and informal and may consist of bread and cheese.
The evening meal is the main meal and is usually later when everyone has returned home from work. In rural areas, a popular bread is pao burro ("pow BORE-o") or donkey bread.