Original article published at TasteAtlas.
This slow-cooked corn (hominy) and bean stew is made with vegetables (plantains, sweet potatoes, squash, and yams), meat (marinated pork, chorizo sausages, or tuna), and spices (bay leaves, garlic, and pimento). It is the perfect “poor man’s dish” – inexpensive, filling, and packed with protein.
It hails from Cape Verde, a ten-island archipelago off the west African coast, and dates back to the 15th century when Portuguese settlers first began growing American vegetables. The dish comes in two varieties – cachupa rica (rich) and cachupa pobre (poor), the only difference between the two being that rica is made with meat while pobre is made with vegetables. Cachupa rica is a must at special occasions and weddings.
Considered the national dish of Cape Verde, it is served on all ten islands in the archipelago, each with its own regional variation. It is a dish cooked by both men and women, and it is a traditional Saturday meal in numerous households and restaurants.
The dish is cooked slowly, giving it a wonderful depth of flavor. Leftover cachupa can even be refried and served as cachupa refogada, a delicious breakfast dish often served with a fried egg, sausages, or mackerel.