Senene, bajia. and breadfruit, oh my!
So, just what is senene? Senene are grasshoppers, and they are a delicacy in Tanzania. When I went to Tanzania there were small packages of senene sold by street vendors! Back in the day people lucky enough to be in areas most visited by these grasshoppers, would be seen at lamp posts, trying to catch them as they flew around the light!
Now, you can try senene for about TSh.500. Yes, it tastes like chicken (said my 8yr old). No, I didn’t try them, because my mom traumatized me when I was younger by sneaking one in my sandwich. Yes, it’s her fault entirely! LOL (just kidding. I love you, mom)
The following images are from our visit to Zanzibar (Zenji):
Refreshing fresh sugar cane juice with a little ginger & lime. Divine!
These are potato bajia and mishkaki. Mishkaki is skewered meat. Usually beef. Small pieces, way smaller than kabob pieces, but oh-so-tasty! Cooked on a charcoal grill & sold for about Tsh. 300 a skewer . Bajia is made from potato and garam flour, and deep fried. Goes well with hot sauce. We bought these somewhere close to the Old Fort in Stone Town.
Breadfruit! My mom swears by this tropical fruit! Called sheli sheli, this fruit is prepared in a variety of ways: mashed, cut and boiled, fried in small pieces, or used as mofongo (in Puerto Rico). We tried it fried from a Zenji street vendor & took it to the beach as a healthy snack.
Next up? Forodhani Gardens. Every night, you can go have your fill of all this delicious food, by the port in Zanzibar! Let me tell you, you don’t want to miss this! It’s the place to be after sunset for locals and tourists alike.
Enjoying a kitumbua on the way to the Zenji’s East coast. The beaches there were glorious! A Kitumbua is typically a breakfast item. Some of its ingredients are rice flour, water or coconut milk, a little cardamom, and a little sugar. They are cooked in a special cast iron tray-looking form. Think the form you can get to make cake pops, but with larger pockets in which to pour the batter.
Once at the beach, mom unpacked these snacks. I remember thinking about my own snack-packing in the States when heading to the beach: chips, fruit, sandwiches, or burgers.
Here you can see an old school kerosene stove that is still widely used, some lemongrass tea, and me grating some coconut before squeezing its milk out for food we were cooking. Be careful when using these, it’s easy to scrape your skin! And it’s easy to keep eating pieces of the deliciously sweet, juicy, & tasty coconut!
Well, all that was quite a mouthful 🙂 so I think a Part III of this journey is in order!
Thank you for eating with me! Asante sana, karibu tena!
If you are interested in traveling to Tanzania, you may contact me for agency information. True Tanzania Safari is my top choice, then Tanzania Private Select Safaris, and Zara Tours. They are all great companies and trustworthy!