The main staple of Zimbabwean cuisine is maize/ corn and is used in a variety of dishes. Food in Zimbabwe has remained traditionally African for the most part, however British colonization certainly left its mark. Common British spices, breads, sugar and tea have become part of the daily life in Zimbabwe. Despite its traditional roots, eating out in Zimbabwe is popular and local and international cuisines are available.
Popular dishes include:
Sadza: This is the most common dish found in Zimbabwe and is stiff maize meal that is like a thickened porridge. It can be rolled into a ball and dipped into meat, sauce, gravy, sour milk, or stewed vegetables.
Bota: This is porridge that is flavoured with peanut butter, milk, butter or jam and is traditionally eaten for breakfast.
Dovi: Portuguese traders brought peanut crops into Zimbabwe during the 16th century, as a result, it has become an important ingredient in many dishes. Dovi is a traditional peanut butter stew with meat or vegetables.
Nhedzi: This is a soup made with wild mushrooms.
Mapopo candy: Papaya is one of the main crops in Zimbabwe and so the locals make it into candy. Papaya is cooked in and dusted with sugar to make a sweet treat.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Zimbabwe. Whawha is a traditional maize beer, however Zambezi is Zimbabwe’s national beer. Other major beers include Bohlingers, Lion, Eagle and South African Carling Black Label and Castle. Imported wine, spirits and liqueurs are available in hotel bars. Mazoe Orange drink is a favourite drink, and is unique because it is all fruit and no chemicals.
Things to know:
Tipping is practiced in Zimbabwe and 10-15% is standard.