Cachupa (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɐˈʃupɐ], Cabo Verdean Creole Katxupa IPA: [kɐˈʧupɐ]) is a famous dish from the Cabo Verde islands, West Africa. It is a slow cooked stew of corn (hominy), collard greens, cabbage, beans (kidney, pinto, lima), cassava / mandioca, sweet potato, fish or meat (sausage, beef, goat or chicken) Referred to as the country's national dish, each island has its own regional variation, while each Cabo Verdean household possess their own signature touch on this traditional meal with varying ingredients. The version of the recipe called cachupa rica (rich) tends to have more ingredients than the simpler cachupa pobre (poor)
Throughout Cabo Verde's history with drought, famine and poverty, Cachupa remained a staple meal in the islands, providing an incredibly savory and nourishing meal. Naturally loaded with proteins, Cachupa in most homes were made "accidentally vegan" as animal meat wasn't always plentiful and reserved for celebrating festivals /anniversaries/ homecoming. Lacking running electricity / refrigeration, the leftover meat would usually be shared with the rest of the village/s around them so that none of it would waste. Shortly after I became a vegan, I recall a conversation I had with my mother, who we will be referring to as "Mama" moving forward on this post and all future posts... (Love you mama!) Anyways.. she turned to me and said... "You know what? If that's what being a vegan is, then we were all very close to eating like vegans in Cabo Verde." She explained that although they ate meat, it was reserved for special occasions.
Cabo Vegan's cachupa recipe includes all of the ingredients listed above, except the animal meat but to not take anything away from Cachupa's full splendor, we add vegan chorizo and/or tempeh to the medley.
Cachupa Rafugado which is the next day, refry version of leftover cachupa, deserves a post of its own but for the sake of us getting all the orders out for tomorrow, I'll keep it short and sweet! The refry version of cachupa is almost a completely different dish, taking on a more crunchy, crispier texture and is usually served for breakfast. In fact, Cachupa, in many restaurants, are actually sold in 2 versions. Cachupa Fresco (Freshly made, stew ) and Cachupa Rafugado (Refried Cachupa)