For a lot of Africans, the solar is a crucial think about food preservation. Quickly after the harvest, grains akin to millet, maize, sorghum, inexperienced gram, and wheat, in addition to pulses akin to beans and peas are unfold out within the solar to dry. If fully dried of moisture, these foodstuffs can final a really very long time – typically years – if saved in a cool, dry place and shielded from pests.
Most households had a granary constructed approach above the bottom, the place foodstuffs have been saved. Along with drying, it was additionally widespread to use wooden ash to pulses like beans and peas to discourage insect infestation. The ash may simply be washed out earlier than cooking the pulses.
Numerous varieties of greens, tubers and fish can be efficiently preserved on this approach. Tubers akin to cassava or candy potato could should be sliced into skinny items to facilitate drying.
Smoking is one other vital methodology of food preservation. Previously, after the hunt, hunters smoked massive quantities of the meat for simpler transport again dwelling, and likewise to protect it. It was widespread to smoke…sport meat, whereas home animals have been typically consumed recent after slaughtering.
Smoking fish remains to be an important methodology of preserving fish, used everywhere in the continent.
Salt was typically utilized to foodstuffs in an effort to protect them, together with sun-drying and smoking. Many fisherman generously salt fish earlier than sun-drying or smoking it, to additional enhance the probabilities that it’ll not decay. Salting was additionally utilized to sure greens throughout the sun-drying course of.
4. Utilizing fats
Just a few communities used fats to protect food. These have been primarily communities that herded animals, akin to nomadic communities. For instance, among the many Somali, when a camel was slaughtered, a part of the meat was cooked in beneficiant quantities of fats and salt. It was then saved for future use. The meat remained appropriate for human consumption due to the massive quantities of fats during which it was cooked and saved, and the salt.
Many elements of Africa nonetheless shouldn’t have the required electrical infrastructure obligatory for sustained refridgeration. Conventional strategies of food preservation proceed to play an important position in protecting food edible for tens of millions of individuals.
These strategies, akin to sun-drying, smoking, salting and utilizing fats, haven’t solely stood the check of time – they’re additionally cheap and sustainable with out requiring an excessive amount of power.