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from: Central Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Mfumbwa

Gnetum africanum is a popular variety of greens (edible vegetable leaves) found throughout tropical Africa -- literally "found" because it grows wild in the forest and is usually not cultivated. It is a natural "forest product" that is gathered by rural people and sold in markets in cities big and small. It is even available in some African grocery stores in Europe. In English, Gnetum africanum is usually called "wild spinach" (though other plants are also called the same). In the Kikongo language of the Congo region Gnetum africanum is called Mfumbwa or Fumbwa (in Angola, M'Fumbua or Fumbua). It is used to make Pondu na Fumbwa, which is also called Saka-Saka, or this recipe, another of many African greens and peanut dishes: Fumbwa elambani na Mafuta ya Nguba -- Fumbwa with palm oil and peanut.

congo village

What you need

What you do

The red palm oil, added like a pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil in a European dish, gives the greens a distinctive flavor and color. Homemade red palm oil and palm butter, made from the fruit of the African oil palm (Elaesis guineensis) are features of tropical African cooking. See Poulet Moambé / Poulet Nyembwe.


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