The Supermarket Chronicles IX: Where’s the Beef?

While in Cape Town, South Africa this week (more of our vacation adventures soon), we were exploring the city’s scenic waterfront looking for something to tide us over in the afternoon before dinner.  In his typical Britglish, Adrian was feeling “peckish”.  We bumped into the exceedingly trendy Waterfront Food Market, a large, open brick building with a number of artisanal food venders.  You know, the type of place where hipster sellers are tripping over themselves to be food cool and try to outdo each other with words like “vegan”, “organic” or “raw”.  Spinach and artichoke heart samosas, homemade ginger and lemon yogurt, Indian dal empanadas, fancy infused vinegars in oddly shaped bottles, blah, blah, blah.

Cooking on the braai

Cooking on the braai

In the back corner, however, was Kubu, a kiosk specializing in venison, which in Africa means game meat.  Adrian and I immediately ordered one of everything and Sarah, appalled, diverted the kids to get ice cream so they wouldn’t see what cute African animals we were about to eat.  They grilled our selections inside, and the large amount of meat cooking at the same time soon fillied the lower part of the building with smoke.  We smiled devilishly as venders selling vegan desserts frowned with disgust.  The meat was served with chakalaka, a spicy South African vegetable relish.  We met up with Sarah and the kids moments later at a picnic table outside and dined under the bulk of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, beginning our survey of African meat.  Here’s a quick gastronomic review:

Ostrich:  More dense and steak-like than chicken, but with a chickenish taste.  One of my favorites.

Crocodile:  Rubbery and tough.  Not one of my favorites.

Zebra:  Filled with sinew and not very flavourful.  Lots of chewing with difficulty swallowing.  May not have have been the best cut of meat.

Warthog:  Tender and delicious, like a gamier flavor of pulled pork. My top choice.

Springbok:  A moist, flavorful steak.  For those of you that don’t know, we’ve been avidly following the rugby world cup.  As a Wales fan, I ate this cut of meat like a rabid dog after last Saturday’s game.

Kudu:  More dense and gamier than springbok.  Also very good.

Impala:  Very dry- I had to swill it down with sips of water of each bite.

By the time I had finished, I was full enough to feel like I really had eaten a safari.

This fearless gull kept trying to steal something from our plate

This fearless gull kept trying to steal something from our plate