Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Other White Nyama

Written September 21, 2010

I have been waiting to write about the topic of this post until this very week. As I write, thousands of pounds of pork and hundreds of chickens are being seasoned and basted in preparation for my all-time favorite festival back home- BBQ on the River!

Though all the festivals throughout western Kentucky have their own charm, I love BBQ on the River for four simple words: Bar-B-Que-Nachos! Imagine nacho chips and cheese sauce layered with bbq pork, bbq sauce and bbq powder. Ah, it's the best of both the Mexican and BBQ food worlds!

I was fortunate to live and work meer blocks from the festival. Practically all meals during the 3-day period were spent with co-workers, friends and family trying all the different booths to see if we agreed the judges' ruling on who had the best grill of the year. Of course, we also had to try the odder treats like frozen pickle juice and fried Twinkies!

Upon arriving at my village that first crazy night, one of my initial sights proved that my pork-luck had not ended. I have an "in" in the Tanzanian pork-scene!

Since most areas of Tanzania are predominately Muslim, pork is more of a vague tale of deliciousness said to be found in some southern villages. Believe me, the irony that it is mainly found in the "South" is not lost on me.

There are two places among the dukani, or shops, offering what they call kiti moto. This translates to "Seat Hot". (Fun Side Note: All adjectives in Swahili are after the noun.) I believe this is called so because it is typically served with peppers and onions, though in my ville it is simply cooked in big skillet of grease.

The important part to always remember when ordering kiti moto is to request "steaki" which refers to the cut. Arteries, fat and cartilage are the prime cuts to locals, and they are more than happy to get rid of the meatier pieces to the crazy Mmarekani!

I did not order the "steaki" the first time so I could try what the locals prefer. The arteries were not so bad, similar to clams. Though people in my village were entertained by watching me eat around the fat and skin. That same night I had to go back for a steaki order cause I did not really get any meat before!

Maybe when I return home in couple of years I will enter traditional Tanzanian kiti moto in BBQ on the River!


  1. Hi. My name is Nate Bloss; im a PCV in Namibia. Ill finish in December and three of us plan to do some travel in Tanzania. Were wondering if you could give us a little advice.

    The questions we have:

    1. Can we free hike around Tanzania? We do that in Namibia all the time, but dont know if we can there.

    2. Were planning on coming into Tanzania from Mozambique. Do you know a good way to do that? Bus, train? Right now were just planning on traveling straight up to Zanzibar, but maybe you know of something we shouldnt miss on the eastern coast?

    3. Any recommendations for Zanzibar. Well have about a week there.

    4. After Zanzibar I wanted to head to Uganda. Whats the best way to travel from Dar to Uganda? Im extending next year in Kenya, so I probably wont want to do much in Northern Tanzania, as ill be able to do it next year. But for future reference, is there anything we shouldnt miss up there (other than kilimanjaro, i hiked that last december).

    5. Do you know what the visa cost is for americans?

    6. What else should we know about Tanzania?

    Nate Bloss

  2. Hi Nate,
    Karibu Tanzania! I think you will all really enjoy it. Pole, I am not much help being in the Mbeya Region and still fairly new to TZ. If you want, shoot your email address to me at I will forward it to a couple others who are in the areas you will be passing through. But I will answer your questions best I can!

    1. yes, I hear there are free hikes but not sure which ones.

    2. Bus is definitely best. Faster by quite bit...though I'm still planning to take the train at some point just to experience it. You may be the same. I hear there may not be a train running in that area anymore. I also hear the smaller island south of Zanzibar is awesome.

    3. I will be going to Zanzibar for the first time in February for a music festival that is suppose to be really fun. You may want to look into that if you are able to travel at that time as well.

    4. No idea...

    5. $100 you can buy at the border...I am told this as well!

    6. You all need to replan your schedule to visit Mbeya! All of us who just arrived about 2 months ago in Mbeya are really excited to be placed here. There is just enough American, German, Swedish, etc traffic to have some decent American, Thai, Chinese foods at restaurants. The weather is great (through you will be traveling in our rainy season). Lots of mountains and vegetation. Last weekend I hiked up a crater with a lake inside that was beautiful. Coffee plantation named Utengule where we hang a lot to swim, play tennis and volleyball, etc. Definitely worth the time and travel if you can!

    Good luck!

  3. Jessica,
    KHSRA website has a link to your posts. So very special to keep up with former rodeo contestants!
    David & Suzette

  4. Hi Suzette!
    Thanks for writing! I did not know they had posted the link. How nice!

    How are you and your family?