Gourmet Christmas in Africa

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

This time you may be surprised. We have gone to Tanzania and Zanzibar. Although the food is not “very gourmet”, I want to show you that my articles are not always about fancy places but are about sharing with you, my readers, my experiences of faraway places that, sometimes, one cannot travel to.

The gourmet highlight of the holiday was “tropical bird”. At 6am we went hunting with one of the few Bushmen tribes left in the depth of Africa, the Hadzabe. This people don’t practice agriculture or raise cattle, which other nomads do. They are one of the few hunters and gatherers left in the world. Every day they go twice to the baobab forest, hunting and gathering all that comes their way, whether a monkey, a bird, a squirrel, fruits, roots or a gazelle.

That morning it was birds, seeing the type of arrows they were using. 3 men, 4 dogs, and us 3. The first one was a lovely, colourful bird. The arrow broke its wing. Then another one and, then, a pigeon. This time there were not four legged animals….

In the way back to the huts, we found a huge baobab with a dark hole where there was a beehive.

One of the men, didn’t hesitate, took his animal skins off, and immersed himself in another dark hole at the back, that connected with the first one where the beehive was. He came out with bits of the hive containing, not honey, but pure protein: the bee larvae (aghh!), which he automatically offered to us. One of my sons, brave and adventurous, took it and tried it. Me? No way…. This time there was no honey!

Back in the camp, next to the baobab where they basically live, in a couple of minutes one of the men made a fire, with the 2 stick technique, and a bit of nest fluff found on the way back. Another man plucked the birds. As soon as the flames appear, in went the bird fixed in a stick. After a few minutes they took out the machete and cut it up. For us? the breast… it didn’t have much taste. It definitely needed salt and pepper!!! They eat the rest, all of it, head, legs, bones….

Thank God this time the squirrel got away!

February 2016

February 2016

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