Angola’s complicated history leaves it curiously twinned with Brazil in cultural and food inclinations; both previously possessing long term Portuguese presence – the food and cultures twined between, significantly through slave trade.
Much of the favored fare flavor, there, thus is very familiar – dende prominently featured, possibly with the addition of an m — with some twists to stretch the palate from simply alimental confirmation bias.
Muamba de galinha, along with Pirao, is reported to be the “national” dish. This was modified to Muamba de fervida cérebros seitan, and served with pirao and Feijao com oleo de palma.
The muamba is a typical African style stew, made with onions, tomato, squash and whatever protein might be on hand – made delicious with abundent dende oil, or, dendem oil, evidently, in Angola.
Feijao com oleo de palma is a simple but outstanding bean dish, just black eyed peas, salt, pepper and oil – fantastic!
Both were excellent but not particularly off the trail of a typical dinner course, ‘round here.
A purportedly favored accompaniment to meals is Kitaba – raved as much beloved and addictive. However, unless something was lost in translation from Portuguese, it is essentially zippy peanut butter – literally, roasted peanuts ground into a paste with a little salt and grains of paradise.
Rays of sunshine piercing through the clouded sky with heavenly harmonics singing was expected based upon the (few) descriptions that were seen, and though peanut butter is handsomely admired, it does not evoke that experience. It was, peppery peanut butter.
Leaving the grains largely intact gives it a nice crunch and burst of flavor – and yet, it remains peanut butter. Just fine…
More consternating were the starch porridges of funge and pirao. Numerous tapioca pearls indubitably accuse a poor preparatory proficiency, but there – also – surely must have been an error in the proportions of flour to water, the result akin to dried rubber cement, but stiffer – chewy. Someone at the Times may have accidently mixed up the recipe with one for flubber. Or something related, nasally…
One or the other of the Angolan “Polentas” are supposedly eaten by many with every meal, conceivable, perhaps, with a gentler application of the manioc – the bond was so strong, that the pan it was made in could be firmly bounced by the enmired whisk, with no risk of it breaking loose.
Obrigado, Folito Gaspar