Vic Falls relieves ‘Taste of Game’ experience

the herald

Tafadzwa Zimoyo recently in Victoria Falls

While people in Zimbabwe have different food styles, many of them are now Eurocentric, neglecting locally produced foods that are generally considered healthier.

One such traditional food that rarely crosses the minds of Zimbabweans is game meat.

Consumption of game meat has disappeared for many reasons, one of which is that hunting is now equated with poaching and therefore a criminal offence.

Even with this limitation, game meat can still be purchased legally in Zimbabwe, with some meat readily available in supermarkets across the country.

But families rarely go for game meat when shopping, and if you happen to open a refrigerator in a Zimbabwean household, you may face beef, chicken or pork.

Marinated ribs

Today, a group of people from different countries have come together with the aim of promoting game meat to the upper echelons of the dinner table.

They travel from country to country “putting game meat in people’s mouths”, just to make them aware of the quality of the meat.

Last week, and on Africa Day to be precise, this group decided to mark this important day on the African continent with a game meat tasting event in Victoria Falls.

The event was aptly named “Taste of Game Africa”.

“The elk is good and excellent depending on the cut of the meat, the impala steak and the liver are excellent, the wildebeest is good and it depends on your cook. Bushpig is good and warthog is really good.

These are some of the comments you could hear muttering after tasting a variety of game meat at the game meat tasting dinner.

The dinner was hosted by Oppenheimer Generation Research and Conservation and Shangani Holistic in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen at Zambezi House.

Research and Curatorial Manager, Duncan MacFayden

Well, it was not only a game meat tasting experience, but also a learning curve about wildlife, tourism and the meat economy.

Chef Daniel Volponi said gambling, like so many things in life, comes down to diet and exercise.

“You have a very distinct, almost metallic flavor in the game, which may be a result of the higher iron content,” he said. “Anything wild and not farmed will have a more active lifestyle, with a more active heart rate.”

The organizers of the ‘Taste of Game Africa’ have decided to celebrate Africa Day and eat meat in style.

Guests from as far away as South Africa, Nigeria and the Netherlands gathered at Zambezi House just to sample and enjoy the game meat – and they did it in style, dressed in their African designers.

Game meat tourists included media personalities, business moguls, social media influencers, hunters, chefs and of course those who love game meat.

Taste of game Africa

With African music playing in the background as guests were ushered in and greeted with their favorite drinks, it felt like home regardless of race, age and color as everyone was African at the time. -the.

This was the second Taste of Game sensory experience after launching last year, with the aim of further exploring the game meat landscape in support of African wildlife economies.

The focus was on Zimbabwe, the game meat sector and the state of African wildlife economies.

Imagine people flying in from all over Zimbabwe just to taste game meat!!

The temperature was 28 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, while at night it dropped to 19 degrees Celsius, creating a festive atmosphere as it was cooler.

It was a relaxing experience and a breath of fresh air.

Since it took place off the Zambezi House, the only scary part was the “Beware of Crocodiles” sign that was near the shrub.

The tour guide identified as Gibson said crocodiles sometimes come out of the river at night, hence the sign just before the event started.

Huge three-legged pots were on fire, while a full buffet with some of the popular traditional local dishes and fruit was on display.

Who knew game meat was so good, especially the one found in Zimbabwe? A colleague said it was about the flavor when tasting game meat.

Guests preparing their meals

“Although the sensory quality of meat includes orthonasal and retronasal aroma, taste, as well as appearance, juiciness and other textural attributes, the event guests focused primarily on flavor,” said chef Vicky Clarke of Fresh Catering and Events in Johannesburg. said.

She said one of the highlights of the event was the sustainability of game meat consumption.

Clarke arrived in Zimbabwe from Johannesburg a week before the event and traveled to Shangani and Hwange, among other game parks, to look for game meat.

“We made sure before eating game meat, we emphasized the sustainability of game meat consumption, because it is much better from a health point of view and more affordable than any other meat,” said she declared.

“So for this event, we arrived last Sunday, with no food and it was quite daunting for us as cooks. All the meat you saw here was from Shangani as we spent days in the markets, the cantons, to research and understand the game meat that was on sale.

“I must say that I have never seen and worked with better products in my life. It was a fantastic and amazing trip to Victoria Falls for my life.

Since it was game meat, games were also played in which some selected guests were blindfolded and those who guessed the correct type of meat they tasted blindfolded walked away with vouchers. catering in some restaurants in the country.

The game meat that was offered included duiker, elk, kudu, beef, warthog, rabbit, buffalo and impala.

During the day, there was a discussion on the influence of species, age, sex, anatomical location of muscles, diet, harvesting conditions, aging of the meat, packaging and storage, as well as the method of cooking on the flavor of game meat.

Research and conservation manager Duncan MacFayden said in an interview that in addition to loving European dishes, what needed to be done in society was to educate and market wildlife.

Some of the cooks

“This function is to show what wildlife economies are all about,” he said. “This is about research, about unlocking wildlife-inclusive economies.

“People need to know that Zimbabwe has the most fantastic wildlife and we need to change people’s narrative, the food they eat and what most people forget is that this is the key to the African economy and that there is a need to work with the community on wildlife.

“We have the resources and the specialized knowledge in Africa and everything we do must be Afrocentric and not Eurocentric. What has been exhibited here shows how rich Zimbabwe is when it comes to game meat.

Although the event was strictly by invitation, an astonished tourist, Isaak David, managed to sneak in and was impressed by the amazing tasting game meat on display.

“It’s my first time to Zimbabwe and I decided to visit the country because of Victoria Falls,” he said.

“I didn’t know about Africa Day. As you can see, I was the only one looking awkward at this event out of dress.

“I chose to organize the event because my wife went out to see the falls. The game meat is so delicious and I want to bring some home. I hope the chef will give me the instructions to cook it.

So, the next time you visit a supermarket or a butcher shop, ask for game meat and adopt an eating habit that can lead to variety when it comes to decorating your table.

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Raymond I. Langston