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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Sudan the 12th largest country in the world, exhibits a wide range of climates (from the south with its nine months of rainy season to the arid north), of food crops, and of diets.

A good survey of the food crops is given by Ferguson (1955). The main staple crop is dura, great or Indian millet (Sorghum bicolor), but other millets are grown, notably bulrush millet (dukhn, a staple for rural communities in the west of the country) and finger millet (telebun, the main staple cereal in the south-west). Other major food crops are simsim (sesame, grown for its oil, which is the cooking oil preferred by the Sudanese), cassava, sweet potatoes, and groundnuts. Others of considerable importance include cowpea, okra (bamia), and melokhia, the last two of which are typical ingredients in Sudanese cookery. A lot of rocket is grown in the north.