A bite of exploding flavours rich enough to massage one’s taste buds.
A chew that gives a fishy taste that without being informed one would think they are eating some type of fish.
Whether flame grilled or roasted, crocodile meat is a tasty treat, something that has in recent years earned popularity in Zimbabwe.
This is also because it’s a cheaper option when compared to beef or chicken.
The meat is now found in many butcheries, supermarkets and hangout spots courtesy of Lake Harvest and other companies.
It is usually the meat of choice at Surrey Braai Fest and many other meat related festivals.
“I first tasted crocodile meat at Surrey, and I fell for it,” said Tanyaradzwa Maringwa, a regular at Surrey.
“I went on to introduce it to my family members who constantly pester me to get it for them every time I go where it’s sold.”
Just like pork, crocodile meat is easy to prepare.
Many people boil it for a couple of minutes then deep fat fry it, while others prefer it flame grilled.
Crocodile meat is neutral, so it goes well with various spices and herbs that enriches both the taste and flavour.
The meat is high in dietary fibres, and is one good example of the ever expanding range of meats.
Local cuisine is ever changing, with the once not so popular joining leagues of what has long been considered tasty.
Chicken, beef, pork and goat meat used to be the relish of choice for many Zimbabweans. Be it smoked, flame grilled or stewed, the meats have long been part of the daily treats for many families.
Dishes such as duck, rabbit and crocodile have always been the luxury only reserved for the elite few; not in their homes, but at top local restaurants and hotels.
But a new order has come, especially with the ever increasing prices of popular meats. The once rare have now become the relish of choice. For rabbits, business has boomed for local producers.
Be they backyard farmers or large scale producers, poultry is now available across the city.
Rabbits are preferred by many keepers due to their relatively cheap cost of production.
“I rarely feed my rabbits with pellets or feed that is purchased in shops,” said rabbit farmer Tendai Muchadehama. “I usually feed them with weeds that are readily available in my neighbourhood.
“Of late, business has been booming with an ever increasing demand on my rabbits and rabbit meat in general.”
Be it at Mtangaz Hideout, Gava’s Restaurant or even in many homes, rabbit meat has given a tasty change in local relish.
Though it can be consumed fresh, many people prefer to first dry rabbit meat before consumption.
Some slow roast their rabbit for a tasty treat.
“For the best taste, I usually spice my rabbit and slow roast it for about 90 minutes,” said local chef Edson Kanyama.
Others prefer their rabbit stewed with a touch of garlic and wine for great taste.
Duck meat is another dish that is increasingly gaining popularity in Zimbabwe.
Just like rabbits, duck are easy to keep, requiring the least amount of capital investment in terms of feed.
Though there are many supplementary feeds available in retail outlets, ducks can also feed on leftover food, maize and even grass.
Also, just like rabbits, many people prefer dried duck meat, though it can be consumed fresh.
“Most of the popular recipes to cook chicken can also be used for duck meat,” said Kanyama.
It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, while it contains phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B12, and niacin.
The rare meat frenzy is ever increasing in the country. What is considered rare and elite today may as well become a dish of choice the next day.
Remember the ‘chihuta’ hype a few years back, an indicator that much may change overnight and locals are readily accepting and embracing the change.
Chef Kanyama’s rabbit meat recipe
1 rabbit, cleaned and cut into pieces
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon of grounded paprika
2 spoons white sugar
1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Season your rabbit with salt and pepper.
Add hot vegetable or olive oil.
Put you meat in a baking dish.
Pre-mix sugar, onion, garlic, paprika and water, then pour on the rabbit.
Place in the oven and bake for 90 minutes.
Serve with sadza or rice.