- A Limpopo-born chemical engineer has taken up the challenge to shift people’s idea of the mopane worm
- While may find the edible caterpillar creepy, it is packed with nutrition such as protein and iron
- Wendy Vesela has found a way to turn the spiky green and black caterpillars into flour that can be used in baked goods
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Mopane worms are a staple source of protein and nutrients for many rural communities in Southern Africa, a delicacy in Limpopo, and a scary thought for many who haven’t tried them.
A Limpopo-born chemical engineer and entrepreneur wants to change how people think of and enjoy the unique delicacy.
The mopane worm is a pretty, brightly coloured caterpillar with little spikes on its back that feeds mainly on the leaves of the mopane tree.
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South African chemical engineer Wendy Vesela has found ways of turning the spiky green and black caterpillars, which are packed with protein and iron, into a flour that can be used in savoury biscuits, sweet chocolate protein bars, cereals or smoothies. When steamed and sliced, mopane pieces can also be used as pizza toppings, eNCA reported.
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Agriculture and Young reported that Vesela says she has found domestic and international customers for her organic products. Moreover, in Vesela's home province of Limpopo, mopane is a staple food, cooked in a sauce of onions and tomatoes.
South Africans shared their thoughts on the young woman’s innovative idea of the cultural cuisine:
Mzivukile Phike said:
“Wish I can have guts and try those but...”
Jane Aarone replied:
“I have plenty of bags of Phane I'm selling.”
Nsovo Sithole reacted:
“Great news indeed.”
Tito Mboweni cooks up a storm with mopane worms: Mzansi reacts
In another story, Briefly News reported that a good hearty meal after a long day at work is a norm in most SA households. This includes ministers such as Tito Mboweni. Minister Mboweni has been showing off his culinary skills on Twitter for a while now and this time he tried a uniquely South African dish.
Before he began his journey to a delicious meal last night, Tito asked his followers to vote on mopane worms or pilchards. From his follow-up tweet, it is clear that South African tweeps chose the edible caterpillar.
Tito proceeded to share a few more tweets about his late-night dinner. From the food cooking on the stove all the way to an empty plate on his dining room table, he made sure that SA tweeps were part of his journey.
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Source: Briefly News