Thursday, December 04, 2008

Survivor Gabon: Culinary Delights Part 2

What a crazy past couple of weeks it has been. Between the Ghana elections, post-election excitement and work, blogging has been on the back-burner. Anyway, I saw on google news yesterday that the American Television show Survivor Gabon had come to a close. I must admit that I'm quite the reality TV freak and love the whole Survivor concept. They basically stick a bunch of strangers into some remote area somewhere without basic essentials and to 'survive' they have to do various feats, form alliances, back-stab while living off wild animals and berries. Alas, there can only be 1 "survivor" and this year it was a 57 year old physics teacher. Each Survivor season starts off with contestants looking pretty good but by the end they have been transformed into hungry is all quite Lord of Flies' esque.

Anyway, I had the surreal experience of being in Gabon from June to August this year while they were filming Survivor in some remote part of the country. Gabon is indeed a beautiful and fascinating place. Unspoiled beaches, thick lush equatorial forest and an *interesting* approach to hospitality. I spent most of the time at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in the small town of Lambarene.The most interesting part of the Gabonese adventure was the delicious cuisine. I learnt very quickly that one had to be a "surivivor" to navigate through the dining out experience. For one of our fancy official dinners we had lovely aromatic meal available. I asked what it was and was told it was "crocodile". *Yummy* ...alas, I politely declined. Some weeks later, after a hard day of work, we headed to a quaint restaurant on the banks of the Ogoue river. The menu was narrated by a waitress but luckily, we went with someone who spoke better French than the rest of us!


  • Carpe: Bony fresh water fish similar to tilapia
  • Antilope: Antelope but unfortunately I stopped eating meat in Dec '03 so that would have had to be a pass
  • Crocodile: Croc again?
  • Singe: Monkey...Say whaa????? A primate? I don't think so!
  • Python: #$#%#$ For a moment I thought you said "snake"....oh... you did! Oops... @#$@#
I had my own rule of thumb for dining out in semi-rural Gabon; when in doubt, stick with carpe. In fact, I think I ate so much carpe that I could have sworn I was starting to sprout fins!

*Alas* in the end, I was not the sole survivor in the bushmeat avoidance club; I gave into the python and I must say it was really delicious.

African Python + My Dish of Cooked Python, rice and fried Cassava


posekyere said...

Hi Aby,

Huh! Python meat in yor tommy?
I really punt these Gabonese for the ultimate prize of extreme weirdity!
No matter how much I try to entertain the idea of feasting on a python, my tommy simply refuses
to coorperate.
As for Survuvor Gabon I am yet to see it. I bet it will be a shocker!

Abena said...

*LOL* once you get past the idea that it is actually a snake you will find python quite tasty! A little like chicken. The strange thing is that the idea really induced nausea in me when I first got to Gabon but after 2 months, I went for the plunge!