Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ANSWER: Swazi 'cultural competency' pop quiz (Question 3 of 10)

Here are the answers. See below for the question.

Chakalaka = (b)
See my previous entry One hundred and one Swaziland destinations: Chakalaka for more.

KFC = (b)
Yes, it is here, but it costs most Swazi’s 1-2 days wages.

“Seswaa” = (c)
Boiled, pulled beef, a common food in Botswana. I had this for the first time last week. (Thanks to KT, my colleague from Bots.)

Sushi = (c)
This may look like Tokyo’s finest, but we had to import several ingredients and make the rolls from scratch. See Japanese brunch in Swaziland - An exercise in culinary syncretism.

Trout = (c)
Not in Swaziland. Zululand (in South Africa) and the Drakensburg Mountains are your nearest options for these fresh-water fish.

Pap = (a)
This one is a local staple. It is relatively inexpensive, made from maize meal. When mothers run low, they add more water to make a thin porridge to quiet the kids. See Leaving on a jet plane, and stuffed for the original post.

Eggs, PB, beans lentils = (a), maybe this year (b)
This is a photo of what I call the “strong foods”. I review these with my patients whenever a child is not gaining weight, for they are high-cal, relatively inexpensive options. With this year’s drought, prices are up and the strong foods harder to get. Read my post Whispers and averted eyes if you want the story behind the photo.

Wors = (b)
Meat (in this case sausage) is also a strong food, but beyond the monetary reach of the vast majority here.

Butternut = (a), sometimes (b)
This squash is a common food, but can be expensive if out of season. It makes a sweet pumpkin mash or soup, often served with cream and cinnamon (if available). See my Gardening in Swaziland link, where I brag about my green thumb.

Barracuda = (c)
This fish fillet is found along the Mozambican coast and is delicious. Seafood in Swaziland is hard to find and very pricey.

Corn Soy Blend = (a)
The World Food Program distributes this powder around Swaziland. All children on ARVs or TB medicines through our clinic leave with a bag of CSB. See Broth, no bread – A patient encounter and Today's family photo(s) – Powdered foods for more.

Fish and chips = (b) Again, meat is expensive. Few have it except on special occasions. This dish, as you might guess, was imported by the Brits, whose protective role in Swaziland dates back to the rise of the neighboring Zulu nation, at the time a grave threat to the Swazi tribe. (Pardon the broad historical brush strokes...I am not well-studied in Swazi-British history.)

Mealies = (a) These are common along the road and cost the equivalent of 30 cents US. Each ear is a meal. See One hundred and one Swaziland destinations: Mealie brai drive-by.


Ok. The number and distribution of the (a)’s illustrate that, essentially, Swazis subsist on maize and other vegetables when in season. Beans and maybe dairy products offer occasional protein.

The feast of photos from the previous post reflects the foods that this over-privileged ex-pat doctor (and other well-off Swazis) have eaten over the past year, and is in no way representative of the menu in a typical local household.

Food, you see, is at the top of the long list of inequities in this country.



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