Snacks just look scary, but very popular in Zimbabwe-24h Cuisine


Tuesday, March 19, 2019 19:00 PM (GMT + 7)

Some people may shudder at the thought of eating an unstable worm in their mouths, but the people of Zimbabwe say that well-cooked caterpillars are a great dish.

The caterpillars in Zimbabwe are called amancimbi, are usually sold in most supermarkets and often cost more than other foods. These caterpillars belong to species of Goninbrasia belina, commonly known as moths of the emperor. It is also known as "mopane worm" because it is common to eat mopane leaves, which grow very much in the summer and can only be found in some countries of South Africa.

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There are no historical documents on caterpillars in Zimbabwe. However, in the cave of Pomongwe in Zimbabwe, many dried moths are discovered with almost 6,000 years of age.

European explorers and the first settlers of South Africa in the 19th century recorded the collection and consumption of caterpillars, many adding that they found this dish really horrible.

According to the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO), mopane caterpillars are one of the most important and economically important forest resource products in the jungles of southern Zimbabwe, Botswana and northern South Vietnam.

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It is estimated that 9.5 billion larvae of mopane moths are harvested annually in South Africa, 20,000 km2 of mopane straw forests are worth $ 85 million.

Research has found that mopane caterpillars are not only good to eat from a nutritional point of view, because they are rich in protein, but they can also be the key to maintaining the ecological balance.

Moths are usually harvested during the rainy season, after which they are cleaned, dried for storage and ready for consumption throughout the year.

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Dried and crunchy worms are considered a snack, or they can be cooked in sauce, as well as corn porridge. Most people like to fry them with a combination of tomato, garlic, peanut, pepper and onion.

Mopane moths can also be added to stews, cooked to soften meat or simply eat raw. When they are fresh, they are less resistant, have a special flavor that is not mixed with other ingredients.

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