I recently took a little trip, okay, it was a big trip, I went to Africa. I managed to hit up South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe while there. I saw a lot of animals--ALOT--sometimes on the game reserves, sometimes just wandering along the side of the road and sometimes staring at me through my lodge window when I woke up in the morning. The food there isn't really any different than you'd find anywhere here in the states. I mean they still do things like casseroles, but the difference comes in what ingredients they may decide to use. Since they have a plethora of some animals just hanging out in large herds, some of those animals make their way into the food. Kind of the way we eat deer or trout or quail. Except their animals seem more exotic to us like antelope, wildebeest, warthog and kudu. This is a kudu.....
...it is the largest species of antelope and roams in herds and the random loners across Eastern and Southern Africa. It is a highly hunted animal by both humans and other wildlife. It's a vegetarian animal, leaves and shoots, and basically a free range kind of animal. During a break from one of our game drives in Krueger National Park we stopped at a small spot offering up food and one of the choices was kudu sausage, and well, why not.
Kudu sausage with pap covered in a 'gravy' of cooked onions and tomatoes. Visually it was actually pretty appealing considering they were serving it right off the outdoor fire pit grill it was cooking on. Overall it was pretty tasty. The meat is similar to venison but has only a slight hint of a gaminess to it. I thought it tasted more like a beef, almost like pot roast in a sausage. The meat was ground up with what I thought were hints of coriander and garlic. It was tender and lean, not salty, again, like a beef sausage. The pap is basically ground hominy meal made into a dense mass--think of it as African polenta but white. It looks thick but it tastes wet, if that makes any sense. By itself it doesn't have much flavor and that's why it has the sauce, they call it a gravy, on top. It's a stewed mixture of onions, tomatoes, salt, sugar and a few peppers to give it a mild kick. I liked it, kind of reminded me of a firmer version of grits and the sauce was a nice compliment. Pap is a side dish eaten by the poor in many areas of Africa, it's a heavy starch that is cheap to make and filling, an alternative to potatoes. This dish is simple but the ingredients were fresh and that's how it tasted. It's food for the masses and there is a reason the masses eat it--it's good. At first I was dubious about trying it, but our guide said it was worth it and in the end it was. And then I got to wash it all down with a Tab--YES A TAB!
It's not your mother's 70's Tab anymore, here it is caffeine and sugar free, yeah I know, what's the point, but it was cold and fizzy. Well, time to get back in the Jeep, more animals to shoot---with my camera that is.