Muzungu – (noun: singular) A non-derogatory phrase used by Zambians to refer to white people or others who are visibly not of African origin.
“Caterpillars? Why would these street vendors sell caterpillars?” said the muzungu.
“I don’t know; they look gross!” exclaimed the other muzungu.
Little did they know they’d both be eating them that very evening… and find them delicious! Along with other typically Zambian dishes such as nshima, soybeans and musalu. Nshima, a mash potato-esque dish made from corn flour, is said to be such a staple part of the diet that a Zambian can claim he has not had lunch if it did not include at least a little bit of nshima. To which we say fair enough! It is indeed a very filling and versatile carb.
If you’ve ever wondered what caterpillars taste like – it’s similar to lamb (to go away from the cliché of “tastes like chicken”) but what’s unique is the texture, which starts at a loud crunch and ends in a soft chew.
On our first weekend in Zambia more cultural alignment was sought at the Sunday market, where handmade crafts and shtenges were aplenty. A shtenge is a large piece of fabric similar in size to a blanket that is typically worn by women for such things as carrying babies or simply as a dress. Lana succumbed to the beauty of the shtenges at the market, buying three in quick succession and having no regrets.