The main food stable of Malawi is a corn flour that is cooked by boiling and resembles grits or polenta. It is plain and served with something else to add flavor and nutrition. It is a source of carbohydrates but does not provide all the needed amino acids or protein. It tastes a little like a tortilla that is commonly eaten in other places and serves a similar food role exempt it is not made flat but served in a lump sort of like rice or mashed potatoes. It is not found in restaurants, so we asked for it and the cook at the guesthouse made it for us by special request. It is found in the grocery store in large (25 and 50 pound) and small bags. It is corn meal that is so finely ground that is it corn flour. I liked it. It was very filling but I also like grits.
In the country side people grow corn which they call maize and traditionally women pound it into corn meal with big pieces of wood into a stone like a mortar and pestle but larger. Today people carry the maize to a miller like my grandfather’s time in Appalachia and the miller grinds it for a percentage of the product.
It is the dry season here and in America. The corn crop is down significantly in America due to drought and the prices will likely be up. How will a poor country buy maize when the price is high?