Oct 18 12

Flavour fusion in Sudan



 As Roald Dahl would describe a whizpopper – a small explosion between the legs.  One comes to realize that this is a bit of a luxury travelling around these parts of Africa.  We’ve had a surprisingly good run considering the lengthiness of the trip.  After 10 months, it is only now that we are battling to fart with confidence.

desert stop-over in Sudan

As one approaches the horn of Africa, yeast and or baking powder ceases to exist.  Raised bread is replaced with injera or teff pancake.  This seems to have a sour/bitter after taste and accompanies just about any dish.  This is served on a large tray that would normally hold about 12 beers at the local pub, but presentation in these parts is the injera in the middle, flopped over on the edges where the size and shape is inconsistent with that of the presentation dish.  There is then a sauce of sorts, in a bowl in the middle.  This sauce depends on what is in season at the time: a touch of onion, chilli, tomato, chickpeas, paprika, sometimes meat, sometimes other vegetables like aubergine, garlic.  There is a lack of seasoning generally.  So who eats injera? Everyone. Why?  There is nothing else.  I have always believed in eating local, sampling culture so to speak when visiting a new country especially.  Mostly everything works out fine.  Every now and then a gogga (Afrikaans for little gremlin) gets into the system and then things go wrong.

Fresh water comes at a premium in these parts and with it a culture of scrubbing and cleaning.  The best advice I could give, would be not to look at the kitchen.  Often, though there is not much of a kitchen.  It is generally an area behind a wall, sometimes with a table, sometimes not.  I wouldn’t generally seek out or look for the kitchen, but often it is on the way to the bathroom/place of relief.  What is lost in 1st world hygiene standards is made up in smiles and friendliness.  I’m not sure how far these two go in killing off germs and bacteria, but… 

breakfast menu in Ethiopia

Nicolai & Danica have not really got into this food wholeheartedly. Maybe this has some positive points.  They have probably got a lower germ count than one who would typically attack this food vigorously. 

I know it is uncool and unhip, but after travelling in these parts a while, one looks forward to the odd establishment that has a menu that one can recognize, sort of know what you’re eating.  Even toast can be used as a plug, I mean food of recognition.  Tasty with a marmalade spread, not much hint of citrus skin though.

Sudan replaces injera with an equally flat, unleavened bread.  This again is served with everything.  There is a bean type curd called ful.  This is a premium dish as sometimes the food is eaten just with the sauce that has had these beans in it.  This is presented in a metallic cooking jug or gidrawhich could also be used for milking goats.  I’m unsure if this ever gets emptied out or whether they just add more beans from time to time.  Once again seasoning is absent, perhaps the salt traders and their camels from the Danakil do not come this far.

the chef and his restaurant in Sudan

But the Sudanese do not only have beans – no, they have goat too.  This can be stewed like a bredie.  The dish seems to have an interesting aroma, but I’m unsure what is in there.  The taste is fairly bland although the sauce is colourful.  Then they have long-tailed sheep which is prepared on a bed of hot-rocks.  The idea is good.  They take the generally fatty meat, and let it cook and cure over these sizzling rocks.  Perhaps Spur got their hotrock idea from here?  Excuse me, I can feel a cramp coming on …



13 Responses to Flavour fusion in Sudan

  1. Roger says:

    Eish!!! Good luck. There should be immodium somewhere…….

  2. Colleen says:

    So good to catch up with you again. Really envy and admire your trip, experience, tenacity, adventure. Hope you are well. Think of you often.

    • Marcelo says:

      Hi Colleen, thank you. We owe you a few replies and cannot reply with outgoing emails down, kind regards from us all.

    • Marcelo says:

      Hi Colleen,
      Great to hear from you. You are in my thoughts often. I look forward to seeing you again and catching up on how your year has been and how the children are doing. Special love and hugs, Celeste XXXX

  3. Anke says:

    Hi Marcelo,
    there was an article in Germany’s most well known newspaper FAZ about rhino poaching (412 this year!) in South Africa and the sale to Asia, mainly Vietnam. In the last paragraph your project rhino rescue project is mentioned. Well done! Today in our newspaper was an article about 2 overseas containers in Hongkong were they discovered ivory of about 600 elephants…so keep going.. we love your blog and the kids love your amazing photos!! Tale care Anke

    • Marcelo says:

      Hi Anke, thank you for the energy that your comments give us. It is strange that some people see the light of the RRP treatment so clearly …

    • Marcelo says:

      Hi Anke and family,
      We love hearing from you and really hope to meet you all again. Will you come visit us next time you’re in South Africa? Sometimes the sadness for the rhinos and elephants can be overwhelming but we are still spreading the knowledge and ideas we have with as many people as we can. How is the project coming along in KwaZulu-Natal? Love to all XXXX

  4. Ilona says:

    You know, I am with the kids on the injera avoidance! And the problem with goat is that it needs to be stewed for a very long time to be decently edible, somethign that doesn’t happen much. And there is nothign else. Poor you and keep those legs crossed!!!!!
    Ok, you are in Sudan, now I am really jelly!!!!!!!!

    • Marcelo says:

      Ilona, you are really top-class gal! Thanks for all the energy your comments your comments give us. Kids are out but will reply soon.

  5. Rob Moody says:

    Hi there lovely family, whilst yes you are doing a great job, its nearly time to come home… so travel safely now. lots of love the Moody’s

    • Marcelo says:

      Hi Rob, email on blink so cannot send out mails, only receive. Good to hear from you again, been enjoying the titbits of news sent by you, thank you. Looking forward to home & seeing you guys. Love to all !!

  6. Nita says:

    Hi to you all but especially Marcelo – best wishes for your birthday on 28th – it will be one to remember, I’m sure. Also thanks for the postcard received this week. It has been so great following your blog. For this last one, I do wish that “the road rise to meet you” but do not wish that the “wind be always at your back”!
    Love Nita

    • Marcelo says:

      Hi Nita,
      Thanks for the lovely birthday message. Glad the postcard arrived. We wish you a wonderful birthday for 9th November and a great year ahead. Love to all and big kisses for Evelyn XXXX

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