It’s light, crunchy and nutritious: so what if one of Africa’s favorite finger foods happens to be a caterpillar?
- Meet one of Africa’s favorite snacks: the four-inch-long larva of the emperor moth, known among admirers as the mopane worm.
- For as long as anyone can remember, rural Africans in the southern part of the continent have harvested the huge caterpillar and eaten it fried, dried, stewed, or raw.
- Hatching in early spring from eggs laid by enormous emperor moths, the caterpillars grow big and fat within six weeks.
- Mopane worms are hatched on the widely scattered, scrubby mopane trees that dominate the bushveld from Mozambique and Zimbabwe to Namibia and South Africa.
- A firm in Johannesburg has been marketing the insects throughout South Africa and Botswana after drying them in large sheds and wrapping them in polyurethane bags.
- By the way, before a mopane worm can be eaten, its strong-smelling intestines must be forced (squeezed) out by hand. The remainder is “full of nutrients—far more than such Western fast foods as French fries.”
- A swarming delicacy, the “mopane worm” is the larva of the emperor moth, found in huge numbers throughout southern Africa’s savanna.
- Once the exclusive pleasure of rural people, the “tasty” caterpillar is now marketed to urbanites who enjoy it dried or canned in tomato sauce.
- Prepackaged caterpillars turned a profit in the first year for “Albert’s Mopanie Worms”; a company in Botswana that began drying the insects in sheds and selling them in 1983.
- Worms go better with Coke, according to some mopane fans. A bag of 60 dried caterpillars was retailsing for about 60 cents (U.S. equivalent).
- Increasingly, Africans are munching the erucivorous snack food straight from the package.
This will take you back to the main vorous word list you came from.
Cross references of word families that are related directly, or indirectly, to: "food, nutrition, nourishment":
Eating: Carnivorous-Plant "Pets";
Eating: Folivory or Leaf Eaters;
A cross reference of other word family units that are related directly, or indirectly, with: "insects, bugs, worms; invertebrates":
Dung Beetle Survival;
Dung Beetles Important;
Mosquito, other Languages;
Mosquitoes, Pt. 1;
Mosquitoes, Pt. 2;