â€˜Madafuâ€™ in the city: Are we going back to the basics?
SEE ALSO :The loneliest hustler in the city ...Coastal cuisine is gaining popularity after KDF, a relative of the mandazi but harder. Before KDF was ngumu, which are small mandazis but denser. Incidentally you can buy madafu, cassava and KDF along Peponi Road on a stretch a kilometre long. Going by the number of vehicles that stop to buy madafu, there’s no doubt it is a popular drink among the affluent, unlike KDF, which is popular among the hustlers who compete for space with cars on the busy road. This road was never designed for pedestrians; it has no walkways. While madafu and cassava are sold all day, KDF is sold mostly in the morning to the hustlers walking to work. Why now? What’s driving this popularity of madafu?
SEE ALSO :Should we mourn the end of humanity?It’s part of the general shift to traditional foods, from boiled maize to nduma and ngwaci. Even five-star hotels have not been left behind. I find it strange that the popularity of traditional foods is going up as fast food offered through outlets like Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and others are changing our gastronomy landscape. Could traditional foods like ugali, which I now find in five-star hotels, be fighting back against the encroachment of their turf by foods from the West? Traditional foods like madafu or cassava are often offered on roadsides and, therefore, can’t be direct competitors to Western food outlets. The fact that the affluent would prefer local foods and not exotic dishes is food for thought. The popularity of traditional foods could be driven partly by the rise in diseases of development, such as diabetes and hypertension, and rising medical costs. It’s also possible that among the affluent, there’s an ingrained desire to return to the basics, to the old familiar foods for sentimental reasons. After reaching the apex of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, why not try the bottom, which some often forget on the way to the top? The bottom has the food we ate growing up. For hustlers, such roadside foods are cheap and affordable. For example, madafu goes for Sh50, while a piece of cassava goes for Sh20. [email protected]]