Cornbread ne Muriwo
[korn brehd nay moo <r>ee wo]
“Why such a strange and difficult to remember name?” one might ask. The answer is that I wanted both of our family’s cultures represented. I toyed with several names before landing on this one. Some were already taken; some had undesirable meanings when transliterated. This one, though, starts with something we love in our family: food.
Sadza is the staple starch in Zimbabwe. It is made from hupfu (cornmeal) and it often accompanies a dish of greens—muriwo—at meal time. Prepare that cornmeal a little differently—add in some buttermilk and eggs, and put it in the oven instead of on the stovetop—and you have cornbread, which is often accompanied by greens. So really, you see, these two plates of standard fare, worlds apart, are actually quite similar.
I am from Mississippi, and my husband is from Zimbabwe. Theoretically, we and our respective cultures have nothing in common, except being places formerly under British rule. As we got to know one another, however, we were surprised by how often our cultures would align. They still diverge quite frequently, but sometimes they seem so similar you almost forget the distance between them.