Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anyone for worms?

Yet another blog - with roots in "Sorry for that!".....

The group of Americans that we had staying with us were treated to a fine dining experience - and one which they could not replicate at home, even if they wanted to. Which (I am sure) they wouldn't!

We served 'em Mopane worms for dinner!

A truly African delicacy, the mopane worm is the larval form of the Imbrasia Bellina moth of the emperor moth family. These are distinctive moths - often 'hairy' in appearance, they have stunning pink 'eyes' on the wings. The caterpillars have orange and yellow markings, in addition to which they have distinct 'spines'

Called 'madora' by the Shona, and 'maC!imbi' by the Ndebele they are really beautiful to look at.....

The caterpillars feed off the leaves of the mopane tree (hence their name) and these leaves are extraordinary in that they contain between 12 and 15% protein. The caterpillars, or 'worms' as we call them, are consequently a very good source of protein, and they are eaten with relish by the rural population of Zimbabwe.

More enjoyment, certainly, than some American folk I know!

Generally they are just lightly fried, which removes the fine white hairs that grow out of the spines on their backs, but in deference to the delicate American palates, we cooked these ones quite well - so that they crunched, and opposed to 'popping', when bitten firmly.

Of course - we didn't just serve the worms plain. No Siree Bob, we didn't! We made them all that much more enticing by the addition of a delicate blend of tomatoes, onions and peppers with just a hint of garlic...

Truly a dish that could not be refused! Surely?

Here is the group being presented with their dinner - and there was an awful lot of 'thoughtful studying' of the food before anyone ventured to try eating one! And a lot of nervous grins! How many of them managed to eat a worm or two? Answer to follow.........

.......answer to follow tomorrow - when I shall post photographic proof. Or not, as the case may be!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Si, come on it's tomorrow already and we all dying to find out how many ate this special delicacy! Xxx