For this post I’m going to talk a bit about food…and for those that don’t like hearing about the eating of cute, cuddly animals or eating strange things I’d recommend that you stop reading here.
Since I’ve been in Ghana I’ve had the opportunity to try many different types of food. The meat has been especially interesting. Coming from the western world where almost all the meat you buy has been heavily processed, frozen, or cooked already the meat here in Ghana is a bit different. For starters, the bone, skin, fat, intestines, and different organs are almost always included in your food, because supposedly those parts have the most energy and are the most nutritious. Personally, it took a while to get used to this. At first I couldn’t stomach the thought of eating the skin of a goat or cow. Now I eat it every time it’s put in front of me. However, I still have a little trouble eating the organs, intestines, and bones. I’ve tried them all, but I don’t like them so I usually give them to my friends that are eating with me. I’ve tried meat from a wide variety of animals since I’ve been here, many animals that I never thought I’d eat. Including, goat, sheep, chicken, beef, pork, (and here ends the normal list of animals), I’ve also eaten rat (bush rats are pretty big, they can be 2-3 feet long with the tail), grasscutter (looks funny, like if you crossed a bush rat with a hamster. And the meat is very similar to that of rat, but less gamey and is very good), and lastly I’ve also eaten antelope (yup, exactly what you’re thinking, a small deer. And yes it is tasty). As for the most interesting pieces of meat I’ve been served, my top 3 all involve the serving of rat in my community here in the Central Region. When I was first served rat many months ago it came with the whole leg of the rat in the soup, the claw included. I’ll be honest…this disgusted me at the time and I didn’t eat the claw, but rather the meat on the leg. Next I was served the entire tail of a rat. And with the help of one of my friends we were able to eat the whole thing, the skin and bone included. And the most recent one, that came this last week…I was enjoying some fufu and spicy light soup (a tomato based soup that is quite good) and I was picking at (you eat fufu with your right hand) a piece of meat that was covered in soup. And I was puzzling over what piece of meat it was…I knew it was rat but I couldn’t identify it. So I pick it up out of the soup and ask my friend and he quickly replied, “that’s the head”. Haha! And low and behold, I was eating the meat from right behind the ears…the teeth and skull was still intact and I was just picking the meat off of it.
Now for the real reason I’m writing this post…one morning last weekend I happened to be sitting alone at my house drinking some tea and reading a book. Then all of a sudden a few of the teachers from my school showed up at my house holding a sack that’s squirming around asking if they can borrow a sharp knife. Honestly, I was kind of curious to what they were going to do with it….so I played along and got them the knife. Now some of you can probably guess what they’re doing with a sharp knife and a bag that’s moving. What was in the bag happened to be a little black and white cat (I warned you to stop reading) and what happened next is that they braced the thing and slaughtered it less than 10 feet from my front door. Wiped the blood off the knife and gave it back saying thanks and inviting me to fufu with light soup and cat in a few hours. Now, many of my friends have remarked that cat is actually quite delicious and with such knowledge I could not let this opportunity pass me by. I mean, honestly, when is the next time that I’ll actually want to eat cat, or for that matter have the opportunity to do so? Needless to say, I went and hung out with my friends and watched them prepare the soup with the cat in it. And it was really really good! That’s all for now. I hope that the next time you decide to eat cat or something strange you send an invite my way...
Other stuff non-food related....life has been really good. I've been running with some of my students every morning at 4:30 and that has been a lot of fun. I'm trying to get back into shape, and also it's good to help out the students when they're busy training for the big sports competition coming up in 2 weeks.