Aujourd’hui je vous parle de la République Démocratique du Congo

Florence, the colourful Congolese dressmaker! 

Florence is 47 years old and comes from the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kinshasa, which she advises everyone to visit. She now works in the sewing workshop of the Foundation, Migrants du Monde. So it’s among scissors and thimble that we set off to meet her. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, she used to sew ‘pagne’, a colourful fabric made from cloth or vegetable matter. In her country, pagne and its shimmering colours are part of everyday life. Worn by men and women, it is sold everywhere, by the roadside and in most shops. Even today, Congolese women strive to add a touch of colour and fantasy to their creations!

Cooking fish in the DRC with Florence… 

After delving into the culinary memories of her country, Florence decided to share the recipe for Pondu with us. Pondu is a typical vegetable stew made of manioc leaves. You can find manioc everywhere in the DRC, recognisable by its long, tough green leaves. And it’s resistant to all conditions! But back to our Pondu. In Florence’s recipe, you mix cassava leaves, aubergines, green pepper, leeks, rice and fish. Lia malamu, as they say in Lingala for “Enjoy your meal“! 

Florence also mentions Foufou, “it’s like semolina“, she sums up to help us visualise things better… Roughly speaking, Foufou is like a purée made of manioc, plantain, corn and a good sauce. 

But the dish that the Congolese woman is particularly fond of is fish, and she reveals all its secrets to us. To cook fish Congolese style, you must cut it up, wash it and grill it carefully. Then you add garlic, celery, nutmeg and fresh tomatoes! Then she prepares a good sauce (which only she knows the secret of), adds salt, and chilli. And it’s ready! 

Florence doesn’t get her fish from the sea (because no, there isn’t any in the DRC), but from a river, a very big river: the Congo River, 4,700 metres long, making it the eighth longest in the world, and teeming with fish…

The DRC, land of freedom… 

Florence tells us frankly that she misses her freedom in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That’s no longer the case in Morocco. One day, she would like to return to her country, “Si Dieu le veut“.

ElenaAujourd’hui je vous parle de la République Démocratique du Congo

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