So I thought I would take this personal detour in my blog to talk about food and the typical routine that I go through on an average day.
Ugandan diet is fairly simple and does not contain the variety that one would be used to in the U.S. or in the West per se. Meat is highly prized but not often eaten due to the cost. So most Ugandans eat a diet that is often meat free. The main item typically found on a dish is matooke, which is made from mashed plaintains which is then wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed till it is like mashed potatoes. The taste is actually quite bland but not that unappealing to me. Other items that can make their way to one’s plate: posho (a cake-like item that is made from maize), “greens” (mixed vegetables which can be like spinach, carrots, etc), mucheere (rice), and maybe kijanjaalo (beans). Various combinations of these items can be ordered together. For sauces, they usually use a sauce made from ground up ground nuts (“g-nuts”) which actually look and taste like peanuts. If meat is available, they typically choose between fish, cow, pig, or goat meat.
For meal times, that can be the biggest challenge sometimes. Usually breakfast is more like “break tea” as they call it. Often it can just be African tea (tea mixed heavily with milk) and maybe a slice of bread or two. This is eaten shortly after waking. Lunch is usually the big meal of the day but is usually eaten at 1 or 2pm! As you can imagine, I was fairly hungry the first few weeks waiting for lunch time to arrive! Then in the late afternoon, they could have another tea time with snacks. Dinner is not that big but is usually eaten around 9 or 10pm. Needless to say, I manage to wait till maybe 7:30 or 8pm and then I have to eat. This is on my own so I have some control over that.
I think my body has almost completely adjusted to eating the local foods. It is not too heavy for me (even though it may not be that flavorful). In fact, when I get a chance to eat Western food again, it often disturbs my stomach since the spices or sharp flavors are not something I am used to. The other thing is that I really haven’t had too many digestive issues wrt diet which I am grateful of so far! Also, I am actually growing quite fond of goat meat. It was a little gamey at first but now I enjoy the taste. There is a restaurant that some of the staff members frequent during lunch time that is just down the road called “Twins”. They serve a really good goat meat stew which is just terrific. That is served with a dish of matooke, mucheere, etc. The price is not bad either – maybe about 4,500 sh which comes to about $1.80 US.