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MARTINMARTIN  
MANZINI, SWAZILAND ......I didn't know what to expect in Swaziland. In my mind I imagined a lot of rondovals as seen above. Well, these photos were taken at a touristy spot. More typical buildings are seen below. There were some rondovals but a lot more buildings were concrete.
MARTINMARTIN  
MARTINMARTIN  

There was advanced warning from the New Hope Center that we probably wouldn't like Swazi food. So, Coenie and I were advised to prepare our own meals. That would not be as hard as you might fear. There was a really nice grocery store not far from the center, KFC was a national favorite, and Coenie had a braai. (That's a barbeque if you aren't South African.)

The main food staple in southern Africa was corn meal. It wasn't the yellow kind of meal Americans use for corn bread. In fact, yellow corn is considered inferior. It's strange how tastes like that develop. I always prefer yellow corn for no other reason than that's what my mother always used. Anyway, white corn meal is used in a variety of ways.

MARTINMARTIN  
MARTINMARTIN  

The meal looks similar to the wheat flour I am used to. There are three ways to prepare it to make porridge, or "pap" in Afrikaans. The amount of water used is the only difference.

If a lot of water is used, you get slap pap (pronounced slop pop). It is as smooth as mashed potatoes. And, you eat it with your meal the same way, but there is no butter or gravy. So, not only does it taste good, but it has to be healthier.

Cook with a little less water and you end up with stywe pap (the "w" sounds like a "v" in Afrikaans). The resulting corn meal is a little stiffer. It is similar to chunks of rice that stick together.

MARTINMARTIN  
Scenic countryside and beautiful handcrafted gift candles in Swaziland

And then, there is krimmel pap (the only one I can pronounce). It has nearly no water. You cook the corn meal and slowly add water. It has a crumbly texture. Eaten with a tomato sauce with vegetables, it is delicious. However, there is another way to eat krimmel pap. It is also used as a breakfast cereal. If you pour on warm milk and mix in the sugar, the mixture is sweet and milky, but it still tastes like white sand. It doesn't matter how much milk and sugar is added. Sand is sand. Someone told me I should have added butter. I'm quite sure that butter would not help sand taste any better. I never ate it again.

Actually, while I was in Swaziland, I did eat the local food a couple of times. The stywe pap had a vegetable dish poured over it. I liked it. But, then there was the cornmeal mixed with sour milk. Need I say anything about that? More than anything else in Swaziland, I liked what Coenie prepared with his braai. As I said, there was so much good meat to be had!

MARTINMARTIN  
MARTINMARTIN The art of Braai
Copyright 2010 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.