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Cuisine of São Tomé and Príncipe

A marketplace in São Tomé, the country's capital, serves as a venue for local fishermen and farmers
A close-up map of São Tomé and Príncipe

Santomean cuisine comprises the cuisine, dishes and foods of São Tomé and Príncipe, a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. The country consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 140 kilometres (87 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres (155 and 140 mi), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon.

Overview

Domestic food-crop production is inadequate to meet local consumption, so the country imports much of its food.[1] In 1997 it was estimated that 90 percent of the country's food needs are met through imports.[1] Furthermore, the country is not self-sufficient in meat and food grain production,[1] and is reliant upon imports of these foods. In 2003 it was estimated that 8.33% of the country's total land is arable.[2]

Primary food crops include bananas, breadfruit, taro, maize, beans, papaya, palm oil, and primary agricultural production crops for export include cocoa, copra and coffee.[1][3] Fish and seafood is prominent in São Tomése and Príncipe cuisine, and the fishing industry there contributes approximately 25 percent to the country's gross domestic product.[1][4] Poultry is also raised in São Tomé and Príncipe.[1] The nation's cuisine has been influenced and shaped by African and Portuguese settlers.[5]

Common foods

Staple foods include fish, seafood, beans, maize and cooked banana.[4][6] Tropical fruits such as pineapple, avocado and bananas are a significant component of the cuisine.[4] The use of hot spices is prominent in São Tomése cuisine.[4] Coffee is utilized in various dishes as a spice or seasoning.[4] Breakfast dishes are often reheated leftovers from the previous evening's meal.[6]

Beverages

Alcoholic beverages

  • Aquardente is a distilled beverage prepared from sugar cane.[6]
  • Nacional is the country's national beer.[6] Other beers, such as Super Bock and Sagres lager are imported from Portugal.[6] Criollo is another brand of beer produced in the country.[6]
  • Gravana rum is prepared from sugar cane.[6]
  • Palm wine is considered a national drink of São Tomé and Príncipe.[6]
  • Ponche is a cocktail prepared with honey and Aquardente.[6]
  • Wines, typically imported from Portugal[6]

Street foods

Cooked corn on the cob. Street vendors in São Tomé and Príncipe sometimes offer grilled corn on the cob.[6]

Street foods include stews, safú (a fruit) and corn on the cob.[6]

Delicacies

Estufa de morcego is a bat stew delicacy that is served on saints days and during fiestas.[6]

Desserts and sweets

Snack foods

Condiments

See also

References

Further reading

External links