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Africa has always been a land of mystery to us Europeans – a land of mineral wealth, extravagant wildlife and wonderous adventure. Along with that though, Africa has given us some of the most diverse and creative foods imaginable. Today though, we wish to delve into the more unusual food stuffs from the continent of human origin and bring you 4 of their strangest culinary delights. Enjoy:
Eaten in: South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana
The Imbrassia Belina (or Mopane worm) is an insect with a huge amount of nutritional value and makes for a popular side dish in many an African home. It’s tasty, and though it’s not your normal restaurant cuisine, it’s a staple food for many people in Africa. These little worms can grow quite large given a chance, which they rarely are nowadays.
They are plucked from trees and bushes, given a squeeze to get rid of the guts, before being boiled up with ingredients such as garlic and tomatoes, or given a quick fry-up and are then eaten straight out the pot or pan. When cooked right, they’re said to taste just like chicken, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Eaten In: Namibia
For the French, the lower half of a frog is a delicacy. In Namibia, they don’t stop at just the legs, thigh, and feet, they eat the whole thing – top to bottom. But be warned, if incorrectly prepared or taken before it is mature/croaking, you could be stricken with kidney failure, known locally as Oshiketakata, due to the poison in the frog.
There are different ways of cooking it to neutralize the poison. People in the Oshakati/Ongwediva region line the inside of their cooking pots with wood from the Omuhongo tree; while those in the Okambebe/Oshikango region use wood from the Omuva and Oshipeke trees. The chicken would probably be less risky.
Tera Sega (raw meat)
Eaten In: Ethiopia
If you’re going to try raw meat while in Ethiopia but can’t imagine slurping down a still-warm chunk, we’d suggest you enjoy a local dish called Kifo. This dish can be prepared in several ways, but the most popular options are to have it either mitimta (raw beef marinated in spices) or kebbeh (raw beef rolled in a spicy chilli powder and butter). Having the meat lebleb (warmed) is also an option.
Why not just cook the meat? In the past warriors would kill and then eat an animal, rather than spend time labouring to make a camp fire to cook it over, as the chances of enemy soldiers spotting the smoke were quite high. If you’ve never tried this dish before making certain you bring de-worming tablets as this food choice, while high in vitamin B and potassium, can also lead to tape worms.
Eaten In: Kenya
In Kenya, when there is a ceremony, people kill goats and make all sorts of meat dishes ranging from Nyama Choma (bbq), boiled meat, mbuzi fry (fried goat meat with copious amounts of onions) and soup. But the goats head wins the prize for the most unusual.
Often the goat head is roasted on flames to burn off the hair and to give it some flavour. The head is then boiled for hours, and people eat the soft meat and drink the soup. They split open the head and eat all the gooey meat inside including the brains. The goat head is boiled for many more days, and people keep drinking the soup. Are you feeling hungry too?
(Real image not suitable for some of the innocent minds here at Vertex )