“…it was so rich and exotic I was seduced into taking one bite and then another as I tried to chase the flavors back to their source.”

Okay, this may be difficult to believe but it is actually chilly and damp. That’s right: I said chilly. It is 66˚, and I’m loving it. All the windows and doors are opened, and Gracie is in and out at her pleasure. The day is dark and cloudy. It’s a candle sort of day, and I have a few lit in here and some of the electric ones lit in the living room. They shed just the right amount of light and make the house feel cozy. The candle closest to me flickers and its flame moves with the breeze. The scent of this candle is coffee.

Last night two of my friends and I went down-Cape to Eastham for dinner. We went to Karoo’s, a South African restaurant, and it was wonderful. The waitress was perfect as were her suggestions for food and drink. For starters, I had a combo plate and could make a few changes. I went with the monkey ribs instead of two snail rangoons. They and the peri-peri chicken were my favorites. For dinner I had Durban Bunny Chow, and it was so good I left only a few forlorn potato and carrot pieces on the plate. The drinks went down easily. Sadly, we had no room for dessert. I need to go back there and try more. That ostrich sattay (their spelling) and the bobotie looked darn good, and I could manage another couple of those drinks.

When I was growing up, we never ate exotic food except Italian and Chinese. One sit-down restaurant was Chinese, and there was a luncheonette up town with mostly stools. I don’t even remember if it had tables. Other places were take-out sub shops, pizza places and a Carrol’s, a McDonald like hamburger spot. It was cheap enough, but my parents never bought dinner there. I don’t know why. Later, high school later, we all used to hang out in the parking lot leaning against the cars and drinking shakes or cokes. That town now has an Indian and a Thai restaurant and still has that Chinese restaurant as well as a wonderful Italian restaurant. It also boasts a Burger King and a McDonald’s just over the line in the next town. The seafood restaurant always has a line, but we mostly do take-out.

My first strange food was, as I’ve mentioned a million times, in Ghana during training. I didn’t eat a lot of it. No one told us what we were being served so we were all pretty cautious. Breakfast with coffee and rolls was the most popular meal. I do remember the first time I ate goat. It was at my live-in. It was in some kind of soup. I knew it was meat, but I had no idea what kind of meat, and no one told me, but I tried it anyway. Other than having a lot of bones, it was pretty good. After that, I tried just about everything. That ostrich I mentioned will be next!

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9 Comments on ““…it was so rich and exotic I was seduced into taking one bite and then another as I tried to chase the flavors back to their source.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    82F and 100% humidity here today, it got a bit cooler when a couple of thunderstorms passed beside the village but now it’s getting warmer again. No rain though but we sure need it now.

    The most exotic I’ve evr eaten is gazelle. There’s a butcher in my old home town that sells all kinds of exotic meat, my guess is that it comes from the big Zoo not too far from my old home town. It tasted very good, somewhat towards liver actually 🙂

    I’m cooking gooseberry jam here today, I thought it best to pick them since they had warned about heavy showers if thunder came. I must admit that it is a bit too warm to stand by the stove a hot day like this 🙂 Sune and Nova are out running in the heat and I just can’t understand where they get their energy, I just want to take another nap in this heat 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I’m actually feeling a little cold. I just shut a window. We had about 20 minutes of rain last night.

      I can buy exotic foods on line but not around here. I doubt most of my friends would be adventurous eaters.

      You’d love today for cooking here. It is perfect to turn on the stove!

      Stay cool!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Rocky and I have already been out very early this morning. We went to the lake and it was windy and cold. He didn’t care, of course, but I was wishing I had worn a long sleeved shirt.

    My family was not terribly adventurous with food. We frequently went to the Chinese restaurant in your town. I think that and Italian food was as exotic as my parents wanted to get.
    I went to that Carroll’s, too. I was surprised to see the flyer when I opened your post. I remember you could get two or three hamburgers for really short cash.

    I’ve eaten some odd things. Alligator, stewed pig’s ears, snake, bison, ostrich. Some of those things aren’t so odd now but they were when I ate them.
    I’m not sure I would eat real monkeys ribs. It’s a little too close to my own species for comfort. 🙂 Still, I wonder if there is a South African restaurant near me. Must google.

    I think I need to put on socks. Wonderful!
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I closed the window behind me-unheard of unless the air was going on. I have to do an errand, and I’ll take Gracie in weather like this. She’ll be thrilled.

      My parents were the same as yours though my mother got more adventurous a bit later.

      That Carrol’s was great because it was so cheap. A dollar meant veritable feast. The food wasn’t great but back then neither was my palate!

      They weren’t really monkey (the menu assured us of that). I’ve had bison, alligator, pig’s ears (such a delicacy), bush rat, snake and I don’t remember what else. Dog I would never eat though Ghanaians did. The whole idea was beyond me, but Ghanaians didn’t have pets. They had watchdogs and ratters. Feeding their families was difficult enough without having to feed pets. I’m sure any of them would trade places with Rocky and Gracie at dinner time.

      • Caryn Says:

        I might eat dog but I’d have to be in a country where dog was considered normal food. I’m very adaptable to local custom.
        I couldn’t do it here, though. It would make me ill.
        Context is everything with me, apparently. 🙂

  3. Bob Says:

    When I was a kid after we moved to Texas we had a rude awaking as to what was Chinese food. Coming from New York my parents took us to eat Chinese as well as Italian. In Dallas the two or three Chinese restaurants really served Americanized Chinese food offering such as delicacies as Egg Foo Young, Chop Suey and Chow Main. The waitress were always middle aged woman who looked like Flo from the TV series Alice which ran in the late 1970s. They chewed gum while taking your order and asked with an East Texas twang, “Do y’all want white bread or dinner rolls with that Fried Rice?”

    I have never heard of a South African restaurant. Why not, we live in a wonderfully diverse country?

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I got a chuckle out of the Texas version of Chinese restaurants. Around here, they brought Chinese waiters from Boston every day to work at the restaurant. Food in Chinatown is wonderful.

      I’ve eaten at an Ethiopian, a Tibetan, and a Pacific Island restaurant. All were in Cambridge. I know there are more, but I just don’t get enough.

      Americans seem to enjoy food from all over the world now.

  4. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Hi Kat,
    It’s actually hot for this area. I really wanted to go swimming but had some errands that I had to attend to. At first I thought Bunny Chow was made from rabbits, but I understand it is not. I am very squeamish about eating strange food. I can’t even stand the thought of frog’s legs. I can’t wait to hear about your ostrich dish.

    Waving,
    Lori and the crew

    • katry Says:

      Hi Lori,
      Right now it’s raining and has been most of the evening. Finally we have some of the rain we’ve been needing.

      I love trying new food. People around the world eat such different food than we I figure it’s a good way to know more about the culture. Mostly I don’t ask. Food taste better when you don’t know what it is!


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