… you eat nshima.
Nshima is made from either maize meal, cassava meal, or a mixture of both; Zambia’s staple food. Nshima is served with side dishes of relishes such as chicken, fish, eggs, veggies, etc. It comes in fist-sized lumps and is served piping hot. Like, let me scald my hand as I take a lump from the middle of the table and transfer it to my plate, hot. (Oh yeah, you eat everything with your hands here in Zambia, by the way. Bye-bye utensils!) The texture? Mashed potatoes meets playdough. Taste? Grits. How do you eat it? Take a baby lump from mama lump, roll it around in your hand, make a small ball shape, use your thumb to press an indent in the middle of the ball, and use that as a scoop to pick up relish, and enjoy! Zambians joke that if you haven’t had a meal with nshima, then you haven’t really eaten at all. I actually really like nshima, but it is super filling. I can only manage to eat 1-2 lumps per meal. Some Zambians (and some of my fellow volunteers) can throw down and put away 4-5 lumps. Nshima champions.