Food is the linchpin of society and it creates a connection between our beliefs, our ethnicity, our individual culture and our cultural heritage. Food is not just a part of our culture as it can also define us. Food is important on a larger scale than most people realise. Sadza is the staple food for most people in Zimbabwe but people prefer eating it at home.
By Kudakwashe E. Zihonye
The high culture restaurant, Gava’s, is playing a pivotal role in preserving the Zimbabwean culture through its traditional menu.The diverse menu offers a variety of meals which are considered to be of Zimbabwean culture such as sadza rezviyo, hanga, goat meat, muriwo une dovi, maguru, green vegetables, beans, chicken stew and many more. The restaurant which decided to take the path of cultural foods and a unique menu, has managed to attract people of all walks of life including celebrities and rich people such as Passion Java, Gemma Griffiths, Phillip Chiyangwa, El Gringo, Madam Boss, Lorraine Guyo only to mention a few.
The restaurant which is located in Belgravia, Harare, has managed to maintain its high culture status by holding a live performance each Sunday by guest Afro Jazz musicians such as Feli Nandi and Mbeu. These are classical musicians who draw crowds. All these steps taken by the restaurant have made people enjoy the captivating environment.
The restaurant has some of the best chefs in the country. This has made it possible for the joint to make some of the best traditional dishes in the country. Consequently, this has made Zimbabweans to resort to traditional foods more than exotic foods.The patrons call the meal at Gava’s, ‘sadza with soul.’
Edline, who is a usual customer there, said she really likes the fire-cooked meals. Her favourite is beans which always tastes better when cooked over a fire.
“I enjoy most meals at Gava’s Restaurant because they are well cooked, healthy and traditional.The place gives me a sense of relaxation and belonging. A plate of sadza, beans and maguru or beans with beef bones justs makes my day,” she said.
Lionel, another regular customer at Gavas Restaurant, said that he enjoys the food because it’s traditional, less fatty, and therefore, healthy. His favourite, he said, is goat meat.
“I like Gava’s Restaurant because it offers ‘sadza rezviyo’ which I usually eat during weekends. At home we usually eat white sadza. I also like ‘muriwo une dovi’ which I eat with my goat meat and I enjoy it very well,” he said.
A lot of Zimbabweans have fallen in love with fast food such that they do not fancy buying green vegetables and beans. They do not realise, however, that traditional food is very nutritious and good for one’s health.