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 cave-people...it 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!







MENU

  • 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

2 comments:

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!