Monday, May 2, 2011

Zoo in the Belly

Did I ever mention that you can eat very well, here in Tana? Coming from Belize where the national dish was rice and beans, and beans and rice (I kid you not, and it's not the same dish!), we feel like we've landed in gastronomy paradise! The influences of the French cuisine are plenty: fois gras, duck confit, the best beef you've ever eaten, prawns, fresh fish, crispy baguettes, flaky croissants, fresh fruit's all easily available here.  One of my favorite restaurant dishes is carpaccio: thin slices of raw meat or fish.

Fish carpaccio with lime and pink peppercorns - Palladios restaurant

Carpaccio de zebu with basil and Parmesan slices- Akoa restaurant

There are also plenty of local street delicacies, but the hygienic circumstances are often poor. I am not paranoid about hygiene or food, and I am not going to wash my vegetables with chlorine, but you have to be careful anyhow.

Last Friday I had lunch at La Plantation, a lovely, colonial-style restaurant which recently opened. As I am happily eating away my starter of vegetable flan on a bed of lettuce, I notice we have company: a tiny, brown worm is wiggling on my plate. Of course I am a little shocked, and so is the restaurant owner. He discounts the dish and offers free coffee. I know that even if you wash salad many times, you sometimes still find wiggly friends in it.

On my way home from the restaurant I remember the advice of an old friend who has been a tropical doctor his whole life. He always said: if you don't want to have a zoo in your belly, take Albendazol for intestinal parasites. It's effective against thread worm, pin worm, roundworm or whip worm.

Well, I have no idea what the little bugger in my salad was, but I don't need him or his friends in my belly.

Say goodbye the the zoo in your belly!


  1. Washing your fruits & veggies in regular white vinegar works very well. If you want *really* clean, spray with a combination of vinegar and diluted hydrogen peroxide (from 2 separate spray bottles). If you rinse well, you won't get any of the flavours, and a vinegar wash makes actually salads nice and crisp.

  2. Susanne,

    I have been reading about your new life in Africa. I am interested in adding a page in our new magazine about you. Your story would fit well within the "Postcards" section we are developing.

    My name is Patrick McCormick and our magazine is called “The e-Buffet” Our prototype is online now. I hope you will take a look at it. It’s only been six weeks and we have assembled a remarkable group of talented artists and writers. It has become a Creative Collaboration and we are growing stronger every day. Between The e-Buffet and our contributors we have over 100 thousand readers, and we have not published our first issue.

    There are several excellent reasons for our early success recruiting this talent. First, it is a great opportunity to promote your own blog, website or causes. Second we do not charge our contributors or make them work for free, we actually intend to pay them. The creators of The e-Buffet will take ten percent of the total gross revenue each month and place it into a pool to be split by the contributors. Admittedly, we are a start-up business and do not have deep pockets, so the pool will be small at first. However, with the type of artists we are attracting, I predict our readership will grow quickly.

    So, I like your work and I offer you the same opportunity that I have given the others. If you get in touch with me now, you can still place some of your material in the first issue due out June 1, 2011. Oh, the first few months you can submit articles and photographs that have all ready been published elsewhere. I believe that makes this one of those “Win, Win” opportunities.

    I hope to hear from you soon.