"When I don’t eat sadza for a day, it’s like… something is missing in my life!”
This is how Field Officer Lovemore Manjoro described sadza, a thick maize-based paste that is the staple food in Zimbabwe. I can safely say that I don’t feel like anything is missing from my life on days when I don’t eat sadza. It has been a challenge to adapt to eating this food everyday, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it! I’m learning strategies for finishing my sadza and not looking like a wimp or food snob. So, here’s my guide to eating sadza… and maybe even liking it.
(1) Wash your hands. You will be eating with your hands and nothing kills an appetite for sadza like dirt on your finger-utensils. There is always a chance to rinse your hands off in a basin, but believe me, that doesn’t do much.
(2) Try to get sadza served with lots of sauce, meat, vegetables, and, if you are very lucky, rice. Here is an example of a very small portion of sadza with lots of extras:
(3) Dip each bite of sadza in the sauce and get a piece of something else with it. Put the something else on the tongue side.
(4) Take big bites.
(5) Don’t eat the stuff in the blue bowl.
6) Sit next to someone who really likes sadza. Miti is always a good choice.
(7) When you think you can’t possibly take another bite, take another bite.
(8) When the meal is over, sit back and thank those who prepared the sadza for you.
And the key to liking sadza? Keep eating it! It gets better every meal.