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A Taste of Uganda

By Jennifer Bryant, 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow

Posted Sep. 13, 2015

Agriculture affects everyone, no matter who you are. It is a part of the clothes you wear, the house you live in, the medicines you take and definitely the food. I won't lie. I'm probably most drawn to agriculture because of the food. One of the great things about Africa is almost every meal is locally sourced. Usually the fruits, vegetables and meat you eat are all from within a 100-mile radius. Not because it is the new fad, but because that is what is available. This leads to incredible tasting fruits and vegetables and at times little variety. Seasonal eating is a regular occurrence for locals unless you want to foot the bill for imports.

I've put together some pictures of the local dishes I have tried. Some have been great while others I could live without. I live by the philosophy that you should try everything because you never know what you might find you like. This is just a sample of the foods here and in no way a full representation.

Matoke is made from small green bananas that have a similar flavor to plantains. They are boiled and eaten whole or smashed. The smashed ones can be eaten warm or cold. Warm matoke is great, but cold matoke, in my opinion, is not very good at all.

beans with posho, yam, sweet potato and pumpkinBeans with posho, yam, sweet potato and pumpkin

This is the ultimate sampler plate! Typically you would only have one of these with beans, but they wanted me to try a little bit of everything. The pumpkin, sweet potato and yam were all grown on the Lubbe farm. Of course there was posho, too!

cassava pancakescassava pancakes

These pancakes are delicious. They only have two ingredients cassava flour and bananas and are fried to perfection!

fish stewfish stew

What I ordered was fish stew, but what came out was a whole tilapia in a tomato cilantro sauce. It was accompanied with posho and enough for three meals.

bowl of live termitesA bowl of live termites


I told you that I think you should try everything. Even termites.

Lubbe Farm has two shellers, and it takes a team effort to use them.

This was a total surprise during our breakfast break. Someone brought a whole bowl full of "white ants," or termites. They had come out the night before and so they were brought to share with everyone. It looked pretty disgusting, but I decided that I would probably not have the opportunity to try them too many times in my life. The taste wasn't bad. It was just hard for me to get over the fact that I was eating live insects.

best beef in ugandaThe best beef I have had in Uganda

I randomly found myself at a revival on the shores of Lake Victoria last Sunday where they were baptizing in the lake. It was quite the sight to see. Afterward, we had an absolute feast. The star of the feast was definitely the beef. They first hacked it up into large chunks with a machete and marinated it in all sorts of spices before grilling it. It was great. Like I said before, this is just a small sample of the food in Uganda, and I can't wait to see what else I can find.

About the Author

Jennifer Bryant is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Bryant is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is in her first year of the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on international agriculture development and sustainability.

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