From the perspective of a foreigner, almost every country has some “weird foods” to offer. To an African native, the idea of a British black pudding or an American hot dog may be off-pudding. So if you have decided to teach in South Africa or to work in South Africa, you must try these strange foods! Don’t immediately turn your head when you spot a bucket of strange God-knows-whats. Try them before asking about what you’re eating and you probably won’t regret it. Hopefully.
1. Mopane: this weird South African food is full of protein—and also full of life. Rural Africans sometimes consume these large caterpillars (called mopane worms) with curry, though they are delicious plain. The Mopane worms need to be de-spined and then dried in the sun, but these colourful critters taste something like potato chips once they have been prepared!
2. Ostrich Omelette: the egg of an ostrich can weigh up to three pounds, so no one in their right mind would eat a whole egg for their daily breakfast. Ostrich eggs are best served with friends or family as one egg is equivalent to twelve chicken eggs. Ostriches lay the biggest eggs of any bird, so unless you’re an Olympic gymnast, please share your omelette.
3. Termites: can you imagine picking these bugs from your floorboards and putting them in your sandwich lunch? Again, rural South Africans eat termites for their main source of protein. Although you may cringe at the thought of eating them, they are a healthier alternative to popcorn or crisps, even after being slow-roasted!
4. Pineapple sandwich: I’m sensing you may be grossed out by the bugs if you’ve gotten this far, so here’s something tamer. Pineapples are cheap in South Africa, so why not put them in a sandwich? Often served on slices of white bread and butter, the pineapple and butter actually complement each other and create a balance between the sweet and salty.
5. Ox Tongue: westerners may be overwhelmed as ox tongue is sometimes served whole and can weigh up to 1.3 kilograms. Although the idea of eating tongue may make you bite yours, ox tongue is delicious once it has been cut and fried, even served in a sandwich!
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