4 Food Preservation Methods Common To African Cuisine

For hundreds of years, food on the African continent has been preserved without the benefit of refridgeration. How? This article describes four methods of food preservation common in Africa.

1. Sun-drying

For many Africans, the sun is an important factor in food preservation. Soon after the harvest, grains such as millet, maize, sorghum, green gram, and wheat, as well as pulses such as beans and peas are spread out in the sun to dry. If completely dried of moisture, these foodstuffs can last a very long time – sometimes years – if stored in a cool, dry place and protected from pests.

Most households had a granary built way above the ground, where foodstuffs were stored. In addition to drying, it was also common to apply wood ash to pulses like beans and peas to discourage insect infestation. The ash could easily be washed out before cooking the pulses.

Various types of vegetables, tubers and fish can also be successfully preserved in this way. Tubers such as cassava or sweet potato may…

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