The Street food scene seems to be back in full swing after the easing of lockdown here in Kampala. And there seem to be even more options on the roadsides. As there is no social distancing and very few people wearing masks, I don’t know how this will play it out long term. But in the meantime, food is on display.
Unlike in other countries, fresh, organic, gluten-free, preservative-free food is so cheap in Uganda. It is hard to go hungry if what you want is a snack on the go. Take for instance this roasted maize. All the cook does is remove its peel and turn it over hot charcoal and sell it to you for about 1000shs. To top it off, maize is packed for you in its former peels. No polythene bags. So if you are also looking for an eco-friendly snack, then there you go. But of course, that isn’t the only reason to have some roasted maize.
It is sweet, it is warm and if you’re not in too much of a hurry, you can have a little fun focusing on eating the seeds to create a pattern. I like to concentrate on getting one straight line going-it can be tricky and then following from there. I do not understand people who eat maize seeds haphazardly, leaving the cob looking like an old man’s toothy grin. Worse are the ones who do not pull the entire seed out of the cob and only bite bits of it. Monsters.
If you live in Uganda and have had enough of maize from eating it as posho or drinking it as porridge for a chunk of your life, AKA boarding school, consider this; it contains various major phytochemicals such as carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and phytosterols (here’s a PDF with more details on that) but in summary, it is good for you.
Pick up a cob today from your regular street-side vendor. Just keep your mask on to be on the safe side.