Maize is a staple food for over 300m Africans. There are several varieties of maize some of which are suitable for drought prone areas. Most African cultures produce maize in large scale thanks to modern technology and mechanization.
It is a relatively cheap form of food even to people operating on a stretched budget. It is the most popular flour that comes after wheat and rice. It is popular in most kitchens, remote enclaves on the further north and even on the southern divide of Africa.
The discovery of drought tolerant maize has come as a blessing to most African countries that face drought during several months in a year. Maize is eaten by almost all African cultures though in different forms.
Some cultures consume it as a grain which they mix with beans or other grains to make tasty meals. The highest majority grind it to produce flour which can be eaten as food or even cooked as porridge.
Maize flour is believed to be what wheat and potato flours are to most Americans and Europeans. Most people who are intolerant to wheat can use maize flour as an alternative. It can be used in the making of bread, breakfast meals and even in the making of confectioneries. Most meals that are prepared with maize flour are eaten with sumptuous African vegetables or even meat stew, bush meat or even fish.
Maize has a high nutritional value. Corn flour is rich in dietary fiber, protein and low fat levels, vitamin B6, magnesium and omega 6 oils. These are essential for the heart, fight against a number of infections and optimal bowel functions.
The fortified maize is used in most African cultures for the eradication of malnutrition. Some African cultures make a meal of maize and beans. A number of commodities like pharmaceuticals, confectionery, toothpastes, popcorn and even soups normally include maize in one form or another.
Maize stalks are also used by most African cultures to feed their livestock. This benefits the people indirectly since they get dairy products, cheese and eggs as a result. The importance of maize as an important African stable food cannot be underestimated under all costs.
Proper storage of maize is very essential since maize is easily attacked by fungi. Some of the most common are Aspergillus Flavus, Diplodia Maydis, Fusarium Graminearum and Fasarium Maniliforme. These often produce harmful mycotoxins that are harmful to one’s health.
Take time to feast on the many African recipes that are available with this food and celebrate the true essence of African cuisine.