|Dry Mopane worms, YUMMY|
Mopane (pronounced: Mow-pa-nee) worms aren't really worms, but are actually caterpillars. They live in Mopane trees. These caterpillars hatch from eggs laid by moths in the Mopane trees. The caterpillars provide protein for African people and are considered a delicacy. Caterpillars are picked off of the leaves of the Mopane tree by women and children. Using their fingers, the women then squeeze the guts from the caterpillars and set them out to dry. After the caterpillars are dried, they are sold, often by the side of the road by Francistown. Sometimes you can purchase Mopane worms that have been commercially canned. (Then instead of being nice and dry, they are good and slimy)
These Mopane worms were given to Elder Gubler for his birthday by President and Sister Wilson. All of our missionaries have tried Mopane worms. Some like them dried, some like them cooked and squishy and most like the deep fried in oil and crispy.Some people eat the worms with the heads on and some people take the heads off. Sure glad that Flat Stanley could be here to share this treat with us!
Here are a few recipes for cooking with Mopane worms.
Fried Mopane Worms
Vegetable oil, heated in a pan
Drop Mopane worms into the hot oil. Take the worms out then they are crispy.
For 4 people
1. 5 Tablespoons Peanut butter
130 Grams Mopane worms
4 Ripe, medium tomatoes, chopped
3 cups water
1 medium Onion
1 teaspoon Deli hot chili sauce
1 pinch salt and pepper
1. In a mixing bowl place Mopane worms and water. Soak for at least 4 hours or over night
2. When the worms are re-hydrated they are ready, drain and reserve 1 cup liquid
3. Heat the oil in the pot, add the onions & cook for 3 minutes until soft.
4. Add the worms, tomatoes,peanut butter and chili sauce together with 1/2 of the reserved liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Turn down heat to simmer for a further 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add more liquid.
5. Season with salt and pepper. Add more chili sauce if required.
6. Serve with rice.