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Saturday 25 September 2010

When in Sudan, eat as a European...

So far, my forays into Sudanese cuisine has been severely lacking...
so far our dinners have been Italian, Indian and generic European,
while lunches have been more of the same. Not that the food has been
bad - far from it; it's tasty, plentiful and rather cheap - but the
closest I've gotten to Sudanese cooking so far is the tasty bread our
Admin Officer brings home when he has to make errands early in the
It's hard to make sweeping statements after less than a week in a city
of 2.2 million (or 11 million, if you count the larger Khartoum urban
area), but it seems to me that the Sudanese middle class likes to eat
foreign food when they do go out - much like the average Norwegians
seems to prefer to not eat typical Norwegian fare (whatever that is
these days - best guess is frozen pizza) when they do hit the town.
However, based on what I've been told before I headed down here and on
what I've heard from the UNMOs that was heading home, typical Sudanese
fare varies considerable depending on where you are in Sudan. After
all, we're talking about a nation that is as large as western
Europe... it would be strange if it was a monoculture as far as the
food goes.
Some common themes seems to be beans and rice - which suits me fine.
Both are easy to cook, stores well and works with whatever safe
vegetables and meats I can lay my hands on.
To put costs a bit in perspective; eating out in Khartoum has run to
about 25 to 30 Sudanese pounds a day. Out on a team site I'll
apparently be hard pressed to spend 50 to 100 pounds a week on food.
One pound is 42 US cents.. so from our point of view things are fairly

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