Botswana proved tricky….The most typical dish of Botswana is seswaa which is a meat dish. In a nutshell, meat is boiled in water (which would remove all the flavour) then drained (to really throw away all that lovely flavour) and then pounded (which removes all of the texture). To me, this sounds like desecration of perfectly lovely meat so that was a no-no!
Another popular food is the Mopane worm. Technically a caterpillar, these are collected, cooked and eaten. Now, I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t keen on the look of these but was willing to have a go for the sake of the project. Most websites were out of stock but I did manage to find one shop online where I could buy them and even lined up some willing volunteers at work to share the experience. Disappointingly, a few days later I received an out of stock email from the website along with a refund.
Botswana was shelved for a few weeks until I read a tweet claiming that Australia was the only country to eat their national emblem (the kangaroo). Digging a little deeper it turns out that everything you read on Twitter isn’t necessarily true and there are, in fact, over 20 countries which eat their emblem. I love random triva like that! Anyway, one of the 20+ countries is Botswana, where some tribesmen eat zebra (as well as tourists on safari). Coincidentally, we had some zebra in the freezer (yes, we really did) alongside buffalo meat which is also found in Botswana. Both the zebra and buffalo were in the form of burgers. Barbequing, or Braai, is a really common way of eating in the Southern Africa countries and so braai’d burgers seemed reasonably authentic. Or at least moderately authentic. Ok, well maybe just a tiny bit authentic.
In terms of flavour, the buffalo tasted just like beef and if I hadn’t have known otherwise I would have assumed both were beef burgers. There’s not much more to say really. This feels like a bit of a cop out but after the worm let down it was the most interesting I could come up with.