The one difference in food storage between Germany and Kenya

Probably applies to other countries from the global South and North respectively

My grandmother says: Food that has been warmed twice should not be warmed again.

And her son, my dad, used to store even canned food in the fridge.

Especially milk and milk products are moved directly from the shopping basket into the fridge, and I remember that my dad sometimes used to go even with a cooler box to do the groceries, in order to keep the stuff cool on the way home from the supermarket.

I got to know that in order to keep food fresh, you need to keep it cold.

But in Kenya I learned that the opposite way works just as well. My in-laws have cows which they milk once or twice a day. Whenever my mother-in-law gets a cup of freshly drawn milk, she uses two thirds of it for tea. She boils it with water and adds tea leaves and lemon grass. The rest goes just as it is into a five litres container that used to carry cooking oil. Now it is her storage for milk. She doesn’t have a fridge. She sometimes even puts the container in the sun. Then she thoroughly shakes it. This way she makes the milk ferment.

She uses that kind of sour milk for the preparation of indigenous vegetables. They are leafy greens that are fried with onions and tomatoes and then the milk is added.


When I make spinach in Germany, I take the leaves and the cream from the fridge. In Kenya, it is actually the same concept, only that the leaves and the thick sour milk are boiled for several days. That makes them very soft and creamy.

When I have some left-overs of food here in Nairobi, I don’t put them in the fridge (simply because I don’t own one).

I will boil it over and over again. This doesn’t only make it last, but mostly also enhances the flavours.

Both systems work fine. It is just a matter of how you are brought up.


4 thoughts on “The one difference in food storage between Germany and Kenya

  1. Lisa R says:

    That is very interesting! I, too, am accustomed to refrigeration of all produce and milk products, as well as left over foods. But my refugee friends from Burma often leave food out for hours, covered. They do not get sick from it. Now I will have to ask them if they boil it to make it safe again!


    • bandikatravels says:

      Hello Lisa. Thanks for the insight! Especially eggs in the bright sun freaked me out in the beginning, but even those seem to be okay. A lot of it really depends on the perspective and simply what we are used to.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s