Khartoum - Sudan is endowed with a diverse climate, echo-systems, food, ethnicity
, sociological and cultural peculiarities compared to its Arab and African.
Such diversity is also notable in the indigenous traditional foods the country has been noted for throughout its history as Sudanese passed them down from generation to another. Despite that fact that some Sudanese foods carry Egyptian, Turkish, and Levant influences but the local touch and flavor remains characteristic of Sudanese bread, roasted groundnuts bakes and traditional foods and drinks consumed during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid festivals.
In a bid to preserve such rich heritage, DAL Group, a company that operates across many business sectors including food & Beverages, agriculture, automotive …etc, held a 4-day second edition of Sudan Traditional Foods Festival, on Nov. 21, 2017 at Khartoum International Fair Ground in the suburb of Burri, east of capital Khartoum.
The festival is meant for availing visitors, especially foreigners the opportunity to sample the Sudanese traditional foods through live cooking shows, accompanied by live music and dance shows reflecting Sudan’s diverse cultural heritage. The festival also includes an open-air steak market where visitors can observe and purchase meat cooked in Sudan’s traditional hand-made cooking utensils.
"The aim of the festival is to showcase diverse Sudanese cultures, heritages and traditional foods with peculiar characteristics and flavor unfound in the African and Arab region … possibility upgrade these foods in the constantly changing world," the representative of DAL Group, the organizing company remarked.
He described the event as an attempt to celebrate the richness and diversity of Sudan’s traditional foods and drinks, besides connecting the Sudanese generations, bridge the gap between the country’s past and present and to preserve this rich cultural heritage.
The Festival is also a forum to celebrate our traditions in agriculture, bringing out traditional ways of storing and preparing different types of foods and drinks, according to the organizers. Moreover, the festival also aims to educate and encourage local producers and experts to conform to and hold steadfast to preserving the traditions and communicate them to the generations to come.
The organizing company, DAL Group proposed complied a cookery book containing recipes for Sudan's diverse indigenous foods and cuisine.
The magnificent displays showed a model of crop market where different types of sorghum, wheat, barley and millet are bought or sold, fruit and vegetable market, which shows different sorts of spices were on display, mirroring white and red ginger, cinnamon, maharaib, atroon (sodium chloride both in sand and rock form), waikab (a mixture of grinded dry okra and burned sorghum stalks cooked as food), in addition to aromatic plants used for medications or drinks.
The organizers expressed concerns that some foreign foods are taking over Sudanese traditional kitchen such as shawerma, kebab, hotdog in addition to Egyptian and Levant sweets and bakes.
At the DAL Group displays visitors can be acquainted with different food preparation methods and the impact of modern technology on the production of Sudanese traditional foods that include gruel made of cereals such as millet, sorghum and wheat with the addition of fenugreek, vanilla, vermicell ...etc, susokaniyya (tiny wheat flour balls), tamarind, hibiscus, millet and sorghum porridge. A new DAL product is soon to hit the market. That is a take away mixture of neaimiyya (or tagliyya) with lintels which can be prepared for consumption just with addition of water. Neaimiyya and tagliyya stews are two traditional Sudanese dishes cooked with dried okra (okra powder) with dried meat and onion with yoghurt as additive. Visitors could see the fixing of dish live and sample it on spot, many describing the test as "delicious"
The opening ceremony was graced by a number of ministers, government officials, and foreigners concerned with cultures, including Mubarak Al-Fadil, the Minister of Investment, who inaugurated the festival.
In his speech, Mr. Al-Fadil said the Festival has national and economic connotations and will help resuscitate domestic products and contribute to ridding the country of dependence on exports should the tradition is preserved and passed down to the new generation.
He warned the nation of reliance on exported foods and technologies not conforming to our rich cultural heritage, calling on other companies involved in food industries to follow the steps of DAL Group by taping Sudan's natural riches in aid of boosting national economy and services.
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