"We had already been served a pot pourri of wonderful local food during our time in the Ivory Coast – the most amazing baguettes (the best I’ve ever eaten, better than in Paris!) spicy stews and fresh fish etc; but the most surprising culinary delight was offered one day on a cocoa plantation. The workers knocked open a cocoa pod and scooped up the mucilaginous seed-containing pulp and popped it into their mouths – They didn’t actually eat the cocoa seeds, they were eating the stuff around them and spitting the seeds out! “It's truly delicious” said Adeline, our chief reporter, “you will really love this” she assured me. When I tasted it I was astounded – it was really creamy and sweet and had a lovely taste!
On the way back we stopped in a local café which is well known for “bush meat” and we had porcupine stew! (without the spines!). It was very bitter, and I’m not sure I would have it again.
In the evening, back at the Children’s Village (where we ran film workshops with the children), the SOS mothers gave us our usual feast of different dishes. Often there were times we had no idea what we were eating and the mothers would tell us afterwards. But, there was one dish we just couldn’t identify. It was the size of a small coconut and nobody could work out what it was. It wasn’t fish but rather had the sort of shape and kind of the texture of tongue – the guys thought maybe it was offal but weren’t sure. We all tried it – it was awful; quite grainy, salty – really not very nice at all. Anyway, we later learned it was Giant Snail! One of the country’s specialties! I was amazed at how big it was! Now I think about it was slug shaped!"
Why was Kathie in Ivory Coast?
SOS UK team-member Kathie Neal travelled to Ivory Coast as part of preparations for the Our Africa project. Our Africa is an amazing, immersive online experience, bringing children in the UK closer to youngsters in countries all over Africa. Learn more.