Monday, 17 March 2008

African cuisine

Trying to pin down a proponent of multi-culturalism into providing some concrete benefits isn’t easy. They’ll look around wildly, and then gratefully arrive at – food. Yes, that's it, where would we be without Indian and Chinese food? So there!

Well, I have to admit to being partial to the culinary delights of the orient, even if its provenance is questionable. I remember many years ago when a Chinese restaurant opened at Christchurch in Cork. Now Christchurch at the time was over-run with cats. They were everywhere. But a few weeks after the grand opening there wasn’t a cat to be seen. Whether the Chinese poisoned them, or transformed them into the main course we’ll never know. And we’ll never want to know.

I'm less familiar with African cuisine, but again would question its provenance. The trial of Charles Taylor, ex-President of Liberia, provides us with some unexpected insight. According to the Mail and Guardian former Liberian President Charles Taylor ordered his militias to eat the flesh of captured enemies and United Nations soldiers, a former close aide testified on Thursday at Taylor's war crimes trial.

"He [Taylor] said we should eat them. Even the UN white people -- he said we could use them as pork to eat," Joseph "ZigZag" Marzah, who described himself as Taylor's former death squad commander, told the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

When asked how he prepared humans to eat Marzah helpfully explained: "We slit your throat, butcher you ... throw away the head, take the flesh and put it in a pot ... Charles Taylor knows that."

Early in the Sierra Leone civil war, he said, troops would drive in vehicles with human heads on the bumpers to incite fear among the enemy. After setting up roadblocks, "we used human intestines. "We put heads on sticks for people to be afraid. "When the person is executed, the stomach is split and you use the intestine as a rope." Sometimes the soldiers tied two together to stretch as much as 10m across the road, he told the court. Marzah said he saw President Taylor pass through such checkpoints at least eight times.

Picture shows the main course on the way to a banquet, heads lopped off the bodies, which are tied to poles by their own intestines.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've stopped eating beef dishes from Chinese restaurants because I've noticed that some pieces of meat taste different from the others.