Zambian fast food

Street_vendor_ZambiaAre you hungry and short of time? In Zambia, the traditional fast food is sweetcorn cooked on an open brazier. For two or three kwacha each (about 25 US cents), you can enjoy freshly roasted corn on the cob.

Traders sit by the roadside with their charcoal brazier and a stock of fresh sweetcorn. Reasonably priced, tasty and convenient, an added bonus is that roast corn is healthy. Gluten-free and rich in nutrients, it’s high in fibre and low in sugar – apparently an apple has four times as much sugar as an ear of corn.

I met this lady early one evening, by Kabwata market in Lusaka. She was happy to have her photo taken in the fading light and I was very happy to buy her roast sweetcorn.

For better or worse, Zambians are beginning to acquire a taste for other fast foods. The shopping malls and filling stations offer burgers, meat pies and pizzas. Much more expensive than sweetcorn (pizzas start at about thirty kwacha) the alternatives are catching on quickly. But I don’t think the sweetcorn sellers will go out of business – not if I have anything to do with it.

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