Cape Verde Food represents the cuisine of the nine inhabited islands of the nation that lies 600 miles off Senegal. The food bears a distinct Portuguese influence on account of being colonized by the European power in the 15th century.
Corn is considered to be the staple of the region and a stew made with beans, vegetables, hominy and available forms of meat is known as cachupa which is the National dish of the islands. Cornbread known as cuscus is usually the main item served at breakfast which is eaten with milk, honey or coffee. The Cape Verdeans usually have a large lunch in the mid-afternoon, whereas, dinner is a small affair that is consumed late in the evening. Grog is the local sugarcane based alcoholic drink consumed by the men of Cape Verde.
The economy of the country is agriculture based with corn, bananas, sugarcanes and coffee being the major crops of the region. However, the agricultural yield does not meet the food requirements entirely and Cape Verde has to subsist on aid from the United States and Europe.
History of Cape Verde Food
The Portuguese influence as well as the food from Africa popularized by the influx of African Slaves in the region has shaped the cuisine of the islands greatly. The Portuguese experimented with agriculture trying to grow foods native to America like the cassava, hot peppers and pumpkins. Tropical fruit trees like mango, papaya and bananas were also brought in from Asia and planted in the islands.
Popular Cape Verde Recipes
- Xerem de Festa- This is a stewed dish of salted pork and coarsely ground corn known as xerem. It is one of the most important dishes served during a wedding feast.
- Tchassina- This is a dish prepared with goat meat that is traditionally served with cachupa.
- Feijão longo- This is a stew prepared with long beans.
- Diable Dentro- This is a pastry filled with a mixture of tuna, onions and tomato.
- Pudim de Ueijo – This is a traditional goat cheese pudding baked in a double boiler with sugar and eggs.
Places Famous For Cape Verdean Cuisine
- Zum Fischermann- An excellent sea food restaurant located on Santa Maria island.
- Chez Loutcha- Located in Mindelo, this restaurant has gained a reputation for serving authentic Cape Verde food.