African cuisine

African cuisine is a generalized term collectively referring to the cuisines of Africa. The continent of Africa is the second largest landmass on Earth, and is home to hundreds of different cultural and ethnic groups. This diversity is also reflected in the many local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques. Traditionally, the various cuisines of Africa use a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products. In some parts of the continent, the traditional diet features a preponderance of milk, curd and whey products. In much of tropical Africa, however, cow's milk is rare and cannot be produced locally (owing to various diseases that affect livestock). Depending on the region, there are also sometimes quite significant differences in the eating and drinking habits and proclivities throughout the continent's many populations: Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa each have their own distinctive dishes, preparation techniques, and consumption mores. An ethnic group is a group of people whose members are identified through a common trait. This can, but does not have to, include an idea of common heritage, a common culture, a shared language or dialect. The group's ethos or ideology may also stress common ancestry and religion, as opposed to an ethnic minority group which refers to race. The process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis. Some ethnic groups are marked by little more than a common name. Mores (generally pronounced /?m?re?z/, and often /?m?ri?z/. From Latin mores, ['mo?.re?s], grammatically plural: "behavior"). William Graham Sumner (1840 Ц 1910), an early U.S. sociologist, recognized that some norms are more important to our lives than others

Sumner coined the term mores to refer to norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance. Mores include an aversion for societal taboos, such as incest or pederasty. Consequently, the values and mores of a society predicates legislation prohibiting their taboos. Folkways, in sociology, are norms for routine or casual interaction. This includes ideas about appropriate greetings and proper dress in different situations. In short, mores "distinguish the difference between right and wrong, while folkways draw a line between right and rude". Both "mores" and "folkways" are terms coined by William Graham Sumner in 1906. Cooking is the process of preparing food, by the analog skills, often with the use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training. Cooking can also occur through chemical reactions without the presence of heat, most notably as in Ceviche, a traditional South American dish where fish is cooked with the acids in lemon or lime juice. Sushi also utilizes a similar chemical reaction between fish and the acidic content of rice glazed with vinegar. Chicken, pork and bacon-wrapped corn cooked in a barbecue smoker Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans, and some scientists believe the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires first developed around 250,000 years ago. The development of agriculture, commerce and transportation between civilizations in different regions offered cooks many new ingredients. New inventions and technologies, such as pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Some modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation.