sadza
sadza

Sadza should be eaten while hot, served straight from the fire without slicing it like a wedding cake. Eating it with a spoon or fork is an insult to the maize meal itself. It is a taboo, and is sure to distort the real taste.

You should feel your fingers burn when you dig them into the edible mountain and reflexively pull them back at first, a confirmation that the sadza is steaming at the right temperature. You can’t wait for it to cool down because its flavour wanes as it gets cold.

You pinch a piece of the sadza and mould it to your preferred consistency before carving a small crater into it and dipping it into your usavi. It is common knowledge that the size of the sadza should always be greater than the amount of usavi but you should finish them both at the same time.

The meal is eaten continuously and in silence as there’s no enjoyment in eating it while doing something or having a conversation. You can’t even watch something while eating sadza. The only thing that goes with sadza is a radio tuned into a channel playing old African songs. In fact, sadza eaten while sitting on the floor like a witch doctor is tastier than sadza eaten while sitting on the dining table. Without interruptions, you eat, eat and eat, only pausing to lick off the greens stuck on your fingers. As a rule, the last piece of sadza is for wiping the plate and scooping every remaining trace of stew to conclude your dish. Drink two jugs of water and rip out a loud satisfied belch. A thin layer of sweat should form around your hairline by the time you are done.

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