Santomean Cuisine

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São Tomé and Principe - Cooking and Food[edit]

Overview of Santomean Cuisine History[edit]

[[Image:||right|thumb|]] The people of São Tomé and Principe trace their roots to a great number of races that came to the island or were brought here in order to be transformed into slaves. The local cuisine is based mainly on seafood, fresh fish, Chicken, and tropical fruits, such as avocado, pineapple, and bananas. In this region, the cuisine tends to be very spicy as fish and Chicken are usually marinated in a spicy sauce. Santomeans have a great respect for their cooking tradition, especially for their former masters who taught them the art of baking bread and cakes. The cuisine of São Tomé and Principe has also been influenced by the Portuguese cuisine. As a snack, Santomean people have bread rolls stuffed with canned salami or sausages from Portugal.

Cuisines of São Tomé and Principe[edit]

File:Map of Sao Tome and Principe.gif
Map of São Tomé and Principe- Click to enlarge

Like in the cases of other important cuisines that prove a great respect to what is called tradition, in São Tomé and Principe people learn from their former masters how to prepare good bread and cakes. This has become an authentic culinary art among Santomean inhabitants. In São Tomé it is essential to have many different ingredients in your kitchen, because Santomean cuisine is based on very spicy food, such as Chicken and fish marinated in spicy sauce. Of course, the local Santomean cuisine is famous for its fresh fish and seafood, and tropical fruits like bananas, pineapple, or avocado. maize has always been an important crop in this region, given the annual rituals built around it.

Preparation Methods for Santomean Cooking[edit]

Elements from various cooking traditions are borrowed and developed by Santomean cuisine. Despite the fact that there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Santomean cooking, it is essential to know that the importance of details has increased in the Santomean cuisine. For spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish it is vital to use the right amount of spices. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in São Tomé is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Concerning traditional dishes, there are special cooking methods, which are usually used in all of São Tomé's regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Santomean dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Santomean Cooking[edit]

Cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories represent the cooking equipment that Santomean cuisine needs to produce the most sophisticated dishes. Insulated food carriers are of a great help in transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms are also required. Some other items that will come handy while cooking Santomean food are: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be a part of the special equipment.

Santomean Food Traditions and Festivals[edit]

The majority of Santomean festivals have been influenced by different cultures; on special occasions, different methods of food preparation are required and they include recipes like Lamb, raisins, almonds, honey, spices, as well as different rice and meat dishes. On Christmas, the inhabitants of São Tomé and Principe have roasted Beef or goat, while their guests are served with Chicken dishes. One of the classic ways of preparing Chicken is to stew it in a Peanut and tomato sauce. Another tasty Santomean meat dish is Chicken marinated in an onion-mustard mixture. Another thing should be mentioned about the festivals held in São Tomé and Principe and this is the fact that they never lack bread rolls stuffed with canned salami or sausages from Portugal.

People in Santomean Food[edit]

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Basic ingredients and cooking methods for traditional Santomean dishes are used by some chefs with a lot of passion for the local cuisine where they create original and delicious food variations. Santomean chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Santomean chefs take pride in what they do, and this can be realised in the extraordinary taste of their delicacies.