Thursday, September 1, 2011
African food adventures, Part 1
Samosas. One of my husband’s favorite … oh wait, I guess I should probably start from the beginning. The story of our African adventure begins by explaining the reason we went there in the first place. My husband, Dan, grew up in Africa. He moved there, along with his family, when he was 1 year old. My mother-in-law jokes that he walked all the way to Africa because he had just started walking and walked up and down the aisle of the plane for their entire flight. That was the start of a 10 year stay in Africa – 2 years in Kenya and 8 in Uganda. This is the reason we traveled to Africa. To see where my husband grew up. And to meet the people who are a special version of extended family to him.
From first mention of our trip to the eventual taking off on the first flight, it took 2 years to plan our trip. After 2 days and 4 flights, we arrived in Kenya. The next morning, we ventured out to explore Nairobi and it was here that I first tried samosas.
Samosas are an Indian pastry, typically filled with vegetables or meat. Similar to the United States, the foods from other cultures contribute to the common food offerings of the country. Now, I know we could probably get samosas somewhere in Denver, but he wanted to eat the samosas he grew up on. Eating samosas is one of his favorite food memories from childhood so, of course, I wanted to try them too.
The first samosas of the trip were quite good – a crunchy crust and steaming hot vegetables inside. It kind of reminded me of a good veggie eggroll. During the course of the trip, we had samosas 4 times. Some where good and some were not so good. This ended up being a trend of the trip...the food experiences changed along with the scenery. I suppose that’s not too unlike dining State-side.
Another experiential note: I quickly learned that taking photos in public buildings is prohibited and strictly enforced by the many authority personnel commonly holding machine guns. I slyly (and admittedly nervously) snapped the first picture. Happily it came out. But I wasn’t about to try to get more. The other two pictures are from dining at our hotel which was, as you might imagine, much more tourist and photography friendly.