In an earlier post I wrote about how I hadn’t eaten much true Mozambican food (other than the produce I’ve bought and prepared myself) and the few Mozambican made food products I’ve been consuming have been limited to beer, mineral water, and piri piri cashews. Since then I’ve found the lemon cream biscuits I used to eat that are still made in Machava, a suburb of Maputo,
bought a bag of Mozambican sugar, and discovered Gouda Cheese made right here in Chimoio. The cheese is excellent and is packaged just as if it were made in Europe. The fancy packaging made me walk right by it in the store and it took Christina, my ShopRite tour guide to point it out to me. I bought some Gouda flavored with caraway seed. The milk for the cheese is produced on a Holstein dairy farm owed by a woman about 20 kilometers outside of Chimoio. Later I found out that the farm also produces milk and yogurt for sale, but have yet to see it in a shop. I did however have the opportunity to try the yogurt and it was delicious.
The cheese, like the lemon cream biscuits and the sugar carries the Made in Mozambique promotion symbol.
To qualify for certification, the product must be completely made in Mozambique, and the company must pay fair wages and enhance their workers quality of life. One hundred forty-four companies are currently certified. Very few food companies have yet to be certified, partially because very few exist, but the program is a promising sign for future products from Mozambique and has only been in existence since June 2006. To date the program has generated more than 45 billion meticais in transactions.