Food in Malawi
Malawian cuisine is based on a single staple, maize, which is presented in one form, nsima(n’SEE-ma). Nsima is a thick porridge that is shaped into balls with your right hand and dipped into relishes, which include a variety of stews. Others who can afford them eat beef, chicken, or fish relishes, while those who cannot eat beans, small dried fish (usipa), pumpkin leaves (chibwabwa), and other vegetables. Nsima may be eaten as a soup for breakfast, perhaps with a little sugar. For less than MK500 (US$3), local eateries will offer nsima and relish.
The food in the main cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre is excellent. In Malawi, fast food, such as burgers, pizza, and fried chicken, is extremely popular. Ethnic restaurants are popular for sit-down dinners (due to a large ex-pat community). To satisfy the Muslim community, pig products are not offered in many eateries.
Outside of the bigger cities, though, you may be disappointed by the culinary choices. You’ll see “tuck shops” along major highways selling boxed cookies or Take-Away Meals — pork pies or sausage rolls, for example — that may or may not satisfy you.
Finally, outside of large cities, you are rare to locate a decent washroom with running water in terms of cleanliness. You’ll most likely be given a bowl of water, some soap, and a (wet) towel. As a result, some travelers carry antibacterial hand soap in tiny bottles with them.
Drinks in Malawi
In large cities like as Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba, and Mzuzu, tap water is usually safe. Inquire with the lodge/house where you are staying. It is possible that certain travelers with weaker stomachs should avoid drinking this water. Bottled water is readily available in all of the main stores.
Maheu, a little gritty and faintly yogurty yet refreshing beverage prepared from maize flour, is a traditional local drink worth tasting. Maheu from a factory is sweet, comes in plastic bottles, and comes in a variety of flavors including banana, chocolate, and orange, while maheu at home is generally unflavored and less sweet.
Coke, Sprite, Tonic, Ginger Ale, Soda Water, Cherry Plum, Cocopina, and the extremely delicious, sugary Fanta’s are all popular soft drinks in Malawi (coming in Orange, Grape, Exotic, Passion and Pineapple flavours). The glass bottles are on a deposit system and are produced by SOBO. Unless you bring some ’empties,’ expect to pay an additional MK25 per bottle.
Carlsberg, which is based in Blantyre, produces the only beers accessible, and its goods are sold in restaurants and shops throughout the nation. Carlsberg manufactures a variety of beers, including Special Brew, Stout, Classic, Elephant, Light, and Kuche Kuche. In certain pubs, you may also purchase foreign beverages including Heineken, Kronenbourg, Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, and various ciders. Malawi makes its own spirits, including Malawi Vodka, Malawi Gin, Malawi Rum, Gold Label Brandy, and Powers, a cane spirit. Malawi Gin & Tonic is a popular drink among expats in the nation.