Food Proverbs

© Copyright 2012 CorbisCorporationFood binds people of African ancestry to their roots. For example, we can find in parts of Africa, dishes that are the origins of gumbo of the US South, and duckanoo of Jamaica. Traditions of sharing food with strangers are very strong in Africa and the African Diaspora. Soups and stews therefore provide the opportunity to “stretch” the food and feed far more than seems possible.

  • Words are sweet, but they never take the place of food. (-Ibo )
  • Fine words do not produce food. (-Nigeria)
  • Good words are food; bad words are poison. (-Malagasy)
  • Even the best cooking pot will not produce food. (-Africa)
  • The grasshopper which is always near its mother eats the best food. (-Ghana)
  • The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry. (-Bayombe)
  • When the leg does not walk, the stomach does not eat. (-Congo)
  • One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food. (-Angola)
  • If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full. (-South Africa)
  • You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday. (-Zimbabwe)
  • Once the food is ready, it should be eaten. (-Kenya)
  • Man is like a pepper; till you have chewed it you do not know how hot it is. (-Hausa)
  • Pepper burn hot, but it’s good for curry. (-Jamaica)

For more food proverbs, please see Lifelines: The African Book of Proverbs.

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