Traditional Foods Festival: Sudanese Varied, Rich Nutritional Culture

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The event aimed to promote the country’s cultural identity in local cuisine, as well as provide solutions in the face of high food prices, brought on by the loss of oil reserves to South Sudan.
In celebration of their nutritional culture, heritage and related activities such as music, song and dance, the Sudan traditional food festival aims to motivate, develop and encourage local producers and experts to continue their journey of preserving Sudan deeply rooted traditional, giving the younger generations a chance to know and understand the great heritage.

Sudanese culture is the one of the most diverse cultures in the world. Its components include various African sub Saharan African and the Afro Arab cultures. The home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, is the third largest country on the African continent. It borders Egypt to the north, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the East, South Sudan to the South Central African Republic, Chad and Libya, seven countries and the Red Sea.
Visitors to the Sudanese pavilion can expect to enjoy a variety of ethnic dances with unique musical lyrics only found in Sudan.
Special performances by skilled traditional dances from Nubian ethnics, Dan Furian ethnics and a special group of Sudanese will perform different ethnic traditional dances.

Sudan is gifted with a diverse climate, fauna and flora, food, people and sociological and cultural characteristics quite unique as compared to its neighbors in the Arab and African regions.
This diversity is also apparent in the traditional foods the country had known since the dawn of history and which continued to be passed by one generation to another.
Still, the quick change that reached everything, is about to cast its shadows on this big heritage of diverse traditional foods in the country.

In an endeavor to maintain Sudan’s rich heritage in traditional foods and drinks, DAL Group, a company that operates across many business sectors including food & Beverages, agriculture, automotive … etc, launched during November 21-25 the Second Sudan Traditional Foods Festival, at the grounds of Khartoum International Fair in Burri suburb.
The bid is meant to avail Sudanese and foreigners the opportunity to taste the Sudanese traditional foods through live cooking shows, presented to the accompaniment of live music and dancing shows that reflect Sudan’s diverse cultural heritage. The festival also includes an open-air steak market where visitors can see and buy meat cooked in Sudan’s traditional hand-made cooking utensils.

“It is also an attempt to connect the Sudanese generations, bridge the gap between the country’s past and present and to preserve this rich cultural heritage,”
“The Festival is also a forum to celebrate traditions in agriculture, storing and preparation of the different types of foods and drinks and to educate and encourage local producers and experts to keep up their role is preserving these traditions and communicate them to the upcoming generations,” said Ahmad.
“It is also a bid to encourage initiatives in scientific research in the domain of traditional foods and drinks,”

The Festival comprises a number of internal and external exhibitions that aim to portray and explain Sudan’s different types of folklore dances and music which were performed as traditional foods were being prepared.

The exhibition has presented a great effort to document traditional knowledge and expertise in food production, cousins and traditional Sudanese and soft drinks from around the country, in a way that reflects the diversity and richness of Sudan’s foods and drinks. The Sudanese food table, is rich in different types of meat and milk products. It shows how Sudanese had treated the different types of cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruits and how the Sudanese table is rich in starch, protein, fats and vitamins required for body building and protection. These were not specific to the urban areas, but the rural areas had had their creative contributions in this regard.

One of the most popular foods on display is the kajaik that originated in Kordofan in the mid-west and the White Nile region. The kajaik is dried fish cooked with onions. There is also the terkeen which is fermented fish cooked into a soup and which is most popular in the Northern State. Also, the miris and kawal soups which are popular in Western Sudan. We have the gadu-gadu which is consumed by the Fulani of Sennar State and Kordofan.

Fatima al-Hassan, a Sudanese woman from the Northern State, said she was impressed by the traditional foods displayed, which, she said” are healthy and satiating for a long time.”
“The Sudanese were tall, strong, well built (without being fat) and agile in the past due to these healthy foods,” said Fatima.
“People were healthy, contrary to the case with today’s generation who had missed this healthy food,” she said.

South Sudan Food 
Food here is traditionally simple, based around pounded millet, from which most South Sudanese get the majority of their daily energy requirements. In urban areas, cassava fritters and bread can also be found.
The key ingredient is perhaps the peanut, which acts as a base and thickener to many dishes. Meat, particularly goat, beef and chicken, is regularly consumed, but in small portions as part of a sauce which tops and adds flavour to the pounded millet. Cuisine from neighbouring Ethiopia is also ubiquitous.

Kisra: Flatbread made from sorghum flour.
Wala-wala: Thick, starchy and plain tasting balls of millet flour that typically make up a meal’s carbohydrate quota.
Combo: Stewed spinach, peanut butter and tomato sometimes served with meat.
Ful: Arabic stewed fava beans.
Tamia: Balls of deep-fried ground chickpeas, in other words, falafel.
Tomato Salad: Basic salad majoring in tomato, with onion and chilli. The best are served with a peanut butter and lime dressing.
Goat stew: Mildly-flavoured concoction of chunks of goat meat, onion and a touch of chilli.
Salaat zabadi: Vegetables including carrot, cucumber and tomato in locally-produced yoghurt.
Perch: Smoked or deep-fried pieces of fish served with a chilli relish.
Baseema: Cake made with yoghurt, sesame oil and sugar.
Miris: Stew containing sheep’s fat, onion and dried okra.

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