[vc_row type=”vc_default” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”5″][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of the great pleasures of living in a less developed corner of the world is the connection and relationship to nature. I sense this when I can only enjoy certain fruits and vegetables when they are in season, or when I discover that there are bees in the honey that is sold in the market. To be sure, commercial processing of foods is increasing, but I prefer the local produce whenever possible. I find they taste better. My niece, who recently earned her PhD in soil science and who spent several years doing agricultural work in Malawi, explained to me that locally organically grown produce is more flavorful because these fruits and vegetables are more “stressed”. This means they had to work harder to grow, as they were not “pampered” with fertilizers, pesticides, and regular irrigation. The biggest proof of this for me is tomatoes. I do not, and never have, liked tomatoes in the USA. To me they were too often tasteless and mushy. But here in Mtwara, they are divine!! – red, firm and sweet.
In the markets here our selection of fruits and vegetables are limited: Tomatoes, red onions, carrots, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bell peppers, eggplant (white and purple), ochre, cabbage, cassava, and a variety of leafy greens. For fruit we have (in their season) mangoes, papayas (yellow and orange), pineapple, bananas, oranges (here they are green), passion fruit, watermelon, and coconuts. More recently imports from other parts of Tanzania: apples, grapes (still with seeds) and avocados can be found – though they are pricey.
– The majority of these listed fruits and vegetables are not native to Africa – stay tune for a future blog that tells their places of origin – something explained in our “Yanatoak Wapi” (“Where do they come from”) museum exhibit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][interactive_banner][/vc_column][/vc_row]