What’s On the Shelf: Mama Mbogas
Across East and Central Africa, mama mbogas, or vegetable mothers, have been a long-standing bedrock of home cuisine for a majority of the people and have been forever. These vendors beat supermarkets by offering the convenience, personality, and warmth one can only get when a vendor knows your name and orders every time you show up. Their temporary rainbow-colored stalls, Kibandas, are located by the roadside outside every housing estate and neighborhood, making it the perfect place to stop to and from work, or just to pop out of the house to get some much-needed groceries.
Benefiting from East Africa’s temperate climate, there are two things you’re guaranteed to find at a mama mboga year-round: organic fruits and vegetables. Your neighborhood mama mboga is going to be stocked to the brim with locally grown onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, potatoes, green vegetables, bananas, mangoes, oranges, avocados – the list goes on!
This produce arrives bright and fresh each day straight from small-scale farms located on the outskirts of their cities. These stalls have a way of inspiring you to get some healthy snacks and ingredients for your meals throughout the week.
With such a breadth of affordable options available daily, the locals are spoilt for choice when deciding what to make. A local favorite, chips masala, is a classic East African dish you could whip up in just minutes after stopping by your closest Mama Mboga.