Food formed an elemental part of the colonial culture, no matter whatever class of people it was served to. Most interactions took place among people when seated around the dining table. So a conversation started at dinner could very well carry on till late in the night! It was therefore imperative that the dining table be kept well stocked at all times. It was also essential that everyone know at least the basics of colonial cooking, be it woman or man, poor or rich, white or black.
Colonial cooking demanded that certain conditions had to be adhered to. Only a wood fire could be used for the cooking. The cook had to have knowledge about handling the fire so that food could be cooked properly. No food was eaten raw, not even vegetables and fruits.
Colonial cooking centered round a staple diet of meat cooked in various forms. In fact, animals were often cooked with their feet and heads still attached and were served in the same way! Anyone wanting to have chicken would find one, kill it and cook it in the morning itself, consuming it for breakfast, lunch and dinner to ensure that it did not get spoilt. The preference was therefore to always have fresh food on the table. Of course, there were certain animal foods that could only be obtained seasonally.