Friday, November 18, 2011
Inswa (Annual Return of the Termites!)
Every year, some time after the first rains begin in earnest, millions of fat termites fly out of their nests and begin looking for a mate and ne spot to start the next giant termite mound. The night it begins you can see thousands of them flying around street lamps and house lights. In the morning discarded wings lie in piles under lights and flutter in the breeze. Meanwhile, Zambians are turning over stones and digging in small holes and catching thousands of these little guys. Typically you catch them and drop them into a bucket of water which drowns them and also gets the dirt off them. One year at Ciyanjano our guys were able to catch 50kg of inswa in one morning! Then all you need to do is rinse them really well and toss 'em in hot dry skillet. They get crispy and remind me of something. I can't place the taste. The smell is unmistakeable as the air at Ciyanjano smells of them as they gather. For Zambians there is nothing better than the free fat and protein that can be gathered! With low wages and high cost of living, free food is hard to beat! The kids eat them like crazy and they wanted to save a big bowl of them for when grandma comes. I'm sure she'll love that!