VhaVenda traditional food
Did you know?
Mopane worms have high iodine levels so they prevent Goiter in those who eat them.
VhaVenda traditional food is at its most authentic in Northern Limpopo province where rich soils and temperate climates combine into culinary perfection.
While maize porridges are common throughout South Africa, VhaVenda cooking includes a porridge which is unique in taste, texture and shape. Known as Vhuswa, it is traditionally served in a stack of what look like thick pancakes. Vhuswa are eaten with Mukusule wild spinach, and meat stews.
In addition to maize porridge traditional VhaVenda food culture also includes a Baobab porridge in which the acid flesh of the fruit of the Baobab tree is pounded and mixed with milk. The acid in the fruit pulp will thicken and mildly ferment the milk.
Both indigenous and foreign fruit, vegetables, beans and groundnuts are plentiful in the Limpopo region and common in VhaVenda cooking. Dophi groundnuts are used to thicken sauces and add flavour to wild spinach dishes such Tshidzimba, Tshimbundwa and Tshigume.
The Marula tree is indigenous to the region and the tart fruit is commonly fermented into a potent but delicious fruit wine while imported fruits such as mangoes, apricots, avocadoes, oranges, peaches are also used extensively and cultivated in domestic gardens.
There are many spices indigenous to the region including Lunonya seeds (which taste similar to caraway) and Mufhoho (a grain which tastes similar to mustard seeds). VhaVenda people consider Mopane worms to be a delicacy. Also known as Mashonzha, these worms are an acquired taste but those who like them consider them to have a nutty taste. Mashonzha can be eaten dried, deep fried or cooked in a tomato-rich stew.