Majestic horizons, vast natural resources and a people willfully committed to hope for the future, a necessary commitment, given the cyclical geopolitical tempests they have faced. A gigantic territory set in the center of Africa, with its fragile but muscular beauty the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be taken as a symbol of the entire continent. It is present at Expo Milano 2015 in the Fruits and Legumes Cluster, and celebrates its National Day on Tuesday June 30. A unique opportunity to get to know its culture, discover its resources and taste its cuisine.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the world’s second largest rain forest, after the Amazon. A green sea, run through by a web of majestic rivers which converge on the mighty Congo. An inexhaustible artery of fresh water and a liquid highway, the river sustains the natural and economic life of the entire country. This gigantic hive of biodiversity filled with leaves and drenched with rain is home to some of the rarest and most precious species on Earth, from gorillas to the ultra-rare elephant of the forest, the white rhinoceros and the bonobo: a world heritage treasure which absolutely must be preserved. The country straddles the Equator, with the jungle extending mostly to the north and the southern part less forested, in part due to mining activities: the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the richest places in the world for copper, cobalt and diamonds.
The tastes of the forest
Agriculture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is still largely at subsistence level. Much of its food comes from the tropical forest, including mushrooms, wild honey and tropical fruit. Game is also abundant, together with freshwater fish, usually fried. In markets and on tables, corn, millet and rice are frequent, but the main sources of carbohydrate are starch-rich tubers such as sweet potatoes, cassava, yam and taro. Their flour is used to prepare various kinds of polenta, dipped in chili-flavored sauces and eaten to the sound of tropical rain.