Here’s something you won’t get if you eat out : last night’s sadza
April 13, 2021
Eating out makes things easy and enjoyable to some extent. Normally you buy both the food and the environment. That includes entertainment. For someone who lives alone, social reasons can push you to go out. It’s common enough that when you cook and eat alone you end up losing motivation and appetite. If you already have company, you may be drawn to eat outs by the menu and other factors that make quality time. For those who love it, sadza/isitshwala (pap) is now widely available in Zimbabwe’s public eating places. But, of all the homely experiences about sadza, last night’s sadza is off the menu when you eat out.
Eat out but here is the game about the hut, or is it heart…
Even though things are evolving with urbanization, it is known in Zimbabwe that in a rural home, there should be a kitchen in the form of a hut. And this kitchen is the domain of the lady of the house. Even though people now have modern custom kitchens, the customs of this hut are something people still value in Zim. It can all center on Sadza. As this is the staple food in Zimbabwe. Such that seeking a hand in marriage can be called seeking sadza in Shona. So when people say you won’t get last night’s sadza, I think we should see a deeper meaning to that.
Isitshwala served warm and soft is great. I know of women who watch their clocks such that the man of the house will arrive just in time for that warmth and freshness. This is because from the moment the pap is ready to be served, it begins to change. It hardens, and becomes cold. One way of preserving this freshness is by placing the sadza where it remains warm. However time never stops to rob the meal’s tantalizing freshness. Give it a night and the sadza will change; in shona it’s now called munya.
I say give it a night because isitshwala is commonly served as the main evening meal. It’s so customary in Zim that there is an adage; hapadyiwe rinopisa (loosly translated people won’t eat warm sadza) commonly used as a fierce warning or threat. However some people just love Zim’s staple food any time of the day. You know that breakfast in bed kinda thing? Well, there is somewhat equivalent air of romance when a woman serves her husband warm sadza early in the morning.
Feel it as you fill the belly
But it doesn’t always have to be cooked in the morning. There is a number of people who appreciate munya (sadza from the previous night). As it happens, variety in terms of sadza, is in what you serve it with. So you may eat sadza everyday, and still enjoy it as long as you change everything else. Munya, offers a difference in the taste of sadza itself. And it comes with the joy of eating something especially reserved for that moment. So be loyal to your home made sadza, and be sure to reserve some leftovers. Owing to the thickness it gains over time, you can actually feel munya go down your gut.