Rwandan Cuisine: Breakfast

I suppose the first part of a food blog should be seeing where the magic happens.  This is the kitchen!  Notice the lack of appliances, we have a coffee maker and that’s about it.  There is also a can opener, which is rare, but no vegetable peeler or rice maker and most devastating to me: no food processor.

A typical fully stocked refrigerator.  Almost everything they eat is bought from the local market where people from the community man their tables and sell produce that they have made.  The milk and yogurt (not pictured here) comes from the school’s own dairy farm.

However, in Save when we stayed with the Benebikira Sisters, they put us up in a guest apartment that was clearly specially suited for Western tastes.  The most abnormal objects in the refrigerator are the several types of juice (they typically will drink only mango and ‘passion squash’), bread, apples, jam and the cheese. 
So let’s get back to the typical meal for Rwandans.  The first thing I noticed is people use their stoves much more than the oven.  In fact, the only time I have seen an oven in use here was for an American making her own food.  Another important feature of Rwandan food is absolutely nothing is measured, even for making rice!  This is likely due to the previously mentioned fact that there is little baking, but it is always surprising to me that everything works out.

Breakfast is usually a sweet drink consumed from a mug.  It is prepared on the stove and then put into a thermos to keep it hot for any stragglers as well as to remove the tea leaves by pouring the liquid through a filter.  The three options for breakfast are usually yogurt (a thin, drinkable form of yogurt), tea or porridge, but rarely more than one of these options.  In addition, people will eat a hot dog looking piece of bread and some bananas.
Porridge, another drinkable food.  Boiling water, hot milk and flour made from various cereals are mixed to create the consistency of thin applesauce.  Then people add as much sugar as they prefer, which is usually abundant for Rwandans.  I have seen people add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar to a single mug.  They told me they add that much because they do not eat dessert, so it is their only form of sweetness.  The sugar in the picture is raw sugar and it is the only type I have seen in the country so far.

Tea (about 60% milk and the rest water).  This is also served to the teachers everyday during break at school.  Rwandans love tea!  Again, people add abundant amounts of sugar to their mug.
Bananas are popular at all times of day and are tiny!