This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Local Food

Food is available wherever you go.  The problem is most of it doesn't look familiar to me yet.

This lady doesn't look happy in the photo but she was very friendly.  The Elders seemed to know her.
They use mostly native languages on the streets and in the villages.

I have noticed that even after warming people up and finally getting the nerve to ask if I could take a photo they always say "yes", but the bottom line is that they really hate to have their photo taken.  It is very difficult to have them look right at the camera unless they have been around foreigners comfortably.  Some say it stems from the tribal beliefs of a photo capturing their spirit.

Dried mushrooms.

Beans, mushrooms, dried green beans

Dried and ground okra.

Dried caterpillars (not sure what flavor).

Dried grubs ( I think these are the caramel flavor).

Local fruit, and apples and oranges from South Africa

Drinks if you want one.

Dried fish about 3 inches long (probably licorice flavored).

Dried minnows (with sugar and cream they would taste like fishy sugar and cream).

These little dried minnows must have a popcorn buttery flavor.

These dried fish about 5 inches long are a little crunchy probably like potato chips.  I think I would add garlic flavor.

These bigger ones are only good for soup as the bones get a little annoying.

Plenty of chard and spinach and weeds.

I loved the bean colors

There really is a lot more and each stand seems to have a specialty.

We chatted with this woman for about 15 minutes and she was all smiles.  After asking if I could take her photo this was the best one I got.  Believe me, she truly tried to be cooperative but just couldn't bring herself to look at the camera.  This was the last of about six shots and it looks like I just knocked her head with the camera.  I use a small pocket camera without a "click" sound.

More stalls and some turnips.

You might think this next item on the menu is a joke.  Believe me it is not.  The Lusaka Zone of Elders and Sisters went for a service project out to a farm about an hour from town to help a family harvest their crop of maize.  The 26 of them got it done by 1300 and the family graciously fed them lunch.

This was the highlight.
Mice and rats.
They gut them, then boil them and then for flavor roast them over a fire.  The hair, nails, tail and head are all still there.  It was the first mouse for most of them, but once they started they all had to try and have their photo taken.

I am really sorry I missed this, but I did see a movie of what looked like the TV show "The Amazing Race" that one Elder took with his phone.  The gagging and wretching was pretty hilarious.  I think it was Sister Rawlins that took the prize and put the Elders to shame by keeping it down.

This is Elder Owens contemplating what the end result will be.
I asked the Elders if they eat at members homes much.  They said they could every night if they wanted to.  The problem is that they are taught to be polite and not refuse any food.  Elder Stewart said that he tries to find a bottle of coke within an hour to try and kill any bad effects.

Just so you know it is cultural.  Here is the equivalent of our "peeps".  These are marshmallow mice.
Quite a treat for the kiddies to get trained gnawing on a sweet rat.

Here is another competing brand.  Just roast those little marshmallows over an open fire and swallow away the homesickness.

I, on the other hand, opted for something unfamiliar but less daring.