Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
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The peoples of southern Africa are carnivorous, beyond all doubt. Meat is very dear to their heart, possibly bordering on the obsessive to us more delicate northern europeans. However, given the excellence and variety, their affinity is understandable.
There was the invite to the braai at my friends’ in-laws. One should not confuse these with a barbecue, for to do so causes insult. There is a ritual to the preparation and lighting of the fire, and only when it is just right, is the meat brought out, and out, and out, and out. Someone from the UK just cannot contemplate just how much meat might be cooked for a single meal for a small group. The family’s hospitality was excellent, thank you Henrik & Hein, but one needs serious training for this!
Arising out of some late night joking on the long drive here, Daniel posed to them my question as to the life expectancy of a vegetarian in these parts? There was an incredulous silence. Clearly such alien creatures would be unable to sustain life here. Yes, vegetables can be grown here, but to these kind folk, bringing salad to the table means adding chicken! (Their words, not mine!)
Opening his freezer back at home, Daniel displayed the shelf contents, steak, biltong, zebra, lamb, biltong, and other meats, and biltong…. Not a vegetable in sight.
Oh, and did I mention the biltong? If you have not tried this, it has to be done. Forget the tiny over-priced packets one might rarely find in the UK, here the dried strips of meat are either home-prepared or bought. Think in terms of dried beef slivers, eaten as one would a packet of crisps. Go to a bar and there may well be a cabinet on display with the strips hanging. Select your strip and it is then chopped with a dedicated guillotine into edible pieces, and presented as a delicious heap on a plate for sharing.
One could get used to this 🙂