Xerem refers to a form of Cachupa or Catchupa , the national dish of Cape Verde in which the corn is more finely ground, and is often served during religious celebrations which are observed in Cape Verde. In Cape Verde, many Catholic Saints' days are observed throughout the year. Food and its preparation play a large part in these celebrations. The women of Cape Verde usually spend the few days prior to these feast pounding corn for the Cachupa/Catchupa, cleaning and cutting vegetables , and preparing meat for the dishes to be prepared for these ceremonial and religious occassions.