Carrie in Africa | Carrie the Carnivore
When I am in the US, I generally don't eat meat. It's not any moral stance about eating animals though. It's really more about being comfortable about where my food is coming from. I still enjoy a good King Salmon or Halibut filet when I am traveling in Alaska. But for the most part, I stay away from flesh. Until now.
Eating in Africa has been interesting. I have found that ordering meals differs greatly from place to place. The majority of places we go for lunch are very quick. But they don't have menus. And if they do, they might as well not. They generally don't a majority of the things listed on there. What I have learned to do is just go in and ask what they have. Usually it's some combination of starch and meat. The starch is either white rice, ugali, or chips (fries) and the meat is chicken, fish, beef or goat. They serve it to you on a lunch platter with some red sauce and green spinach looking stuff. As for the meat, there is no hiding what you are eating. If you order fish - you get a whole-God-damned-fish. If you order chicken, they will just bring out every part of the chicken and it's your job to find our where the meat is. Needless to say, utensils are kind of useless. One day, I was in one of the villages eating chicken and rice with the three African men I was traveling with. When the chicken was served, I tried to cut it with my flimsy butter knife and they started cracking up. "This is village chicken. It spends it's life running around after hens. You better have strong teeth." I didn't. The waiter ended up having to bring out some small pieces of 'mzungu chicken' instead.
Most dinners I have had outside Dar have been a little different. They are usually made to order. And when I say that, i mean when you order chips, somebody goes into the kitchen and starts peeling a potato. Dinner can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to be served. Last night, at our hotel, I ordered chicken and chips for three (Kat, her boyfriend Brett and myself). They went back to the little chicken coop behind the hotel and killed a chicken. Two hours later i was tearing chicken flesh off bones with my hands and teeth quietly singing that old cruise commercial jingle too myself "if they could see me now..."