It was a battle of rustic stews this week on The World Cup of Food, with the Cape Verdean chicken and rice stew canja pitted against Tanzania’s beef and green banana stew ndizi na nyama. Considering these dishes along with everything else we know about the two nations’ cuisines, which do we think is better and deserves to move on to face Korea in the next round?
When a Cape Verdean cook wants a quick, hearty dinner he or she often looks no further than to canja (recipe follows), the chicken and rice soup that is well-liked not just in the islands, but in Brazil and Portugal as well. Brought by the Portuguese colonists, canja is incredibly simple. Whole pieces of chicken are simmered in rice and broth until tender, with some onions and garlic adding flavor. Many cooks jazz the recipe up by adding peppers, mushrooms, or anything else their imaginations conjure, but the basic version is what most Cape Verdeans abroad miss.
Well, friends, it it that time again: time to send one country’s culinary culture out of the World Cup of Food. Today we must decide between the African nations of Tunisia and Cape Verde, two lands separated by a the world’s largest desert, a little bit of ocean, and miles of difference in their cooking traditions.
Cape Verde is a remote island chain due west of the West African nation of Senegal in the North Atlantic. The volcanic islands were uninhabited until the Portuguese arrived in the fifteenth century and used the archipelago as a stopover point in the New World slave trade. It wasn’t long before the Cape Verdean Islands became an easy target of pirates, the famed English privateer Sir Francis Drake having ransacked the then-capital city of Ribeira Grande twice in the 1580s.
Continue reading Cape Verdean Cuisine — Jagacida, Bean and Sausage Stew