Oh, my snacks! They are loved and nibbled on by many, before or after meals, and come in unique sweet or savoury flavours. They cannot be ignored as they overflow in the check-out lane as you wait your turn to make a payment at the supermarket, your eyes wandering from shelf to shelf until the Cadbury 5 Star chocolate captures the heart just right.
They also serve as a celebratory reward after finally spring cleaning your mommy’s home or pressing the submit button for the research paper you have been procrastinating on. Or, if you’re still struggling with writer’s block and the cookie jar or chutney flavoured pretzels are within reach, it serves as a do-not-give-up kind of reward.
In Namibia, we have other special snacks and I hope during your next journey here you get the opportunity to enjoy some of the below:
Biltong – This is a must-taste for those who enjoy something meaty. It is air-dried, cured and marinated lean meat made from game or beef meat. The biltong styles are quite vast, such as chilli bites, droëwors (dried sausage), chutney bites, love bites, plain-snapstix, BBQ crisps, chilli-snapstix… the list is endless.
Mopane worms – This is a southern African delicacy. These worms are harvested from Mopane tree leaves, and later gutted and dried. They are commonly found in northern Namibia but make their way throughout the country and are usually sold at open markets or cultural restaurants such as Pepata Restaurant or Xwama Traditional Restaurant.
The cooked recipes differ, either sautéed to a crunchy consistency coupled with onions, garlic and tomatoes, or served moist and complemented by a delicious gravy. They serve as a great source of protein.
Eembe – This sweet wild fruit from the Bird Plum tree has a date-like taste and is currently in season. It is commonly found in the four O-regions. Harvesting takes place from March to April. Eembe can be consumed fresh or dried. Its pulp is high in Vitamin C and contains a sugar content of 30%, which makes it just sweet enough. So after picking up your Namibia2Go vehicle in Windhoek, try this sweet fruit, found at open markets such as Oshetu or Soweto.
!Nara fruit or seeds – These seeds can be eaten raw or roasted and have a high protein content. The fruit is sweet and juicy, and is an incredible thirst-quencher. If you’d like to try these seeds and you’re headed to Swakopmund soon, check out Desert Hills.
Corky Monkey Orange – Locally referred to as Maguni in the north-eastern regions, this fruit is commonly found in northern and north-eastern Namibia. The pulp is soft with a sweet-sour flavour and best enjoyed when chilled. It is also used to make desserts. If you are heading to the Namushasha River Villa, you will notice this fruit being sold on the side of the road, its yellow-orange colour will ensure you make a quick pit stop!
Jackalberry fruits – These are delightful sweet treats that have a jelly-like white texture when fresh, and crunchy when dried with a pink to reddish flesh. They can be enjoyed in and out of season. You might encounter them being sold along the road or at open markets in Windhoek or in the four O-regions.
We all have unique snack preferences, plus there are way too many Namibian snacks to write about… So, for that next holiday I do hope that you’ll discover and try our Namibian snacks.
Which Namibian snacks have you nibbled on before, or are eager to try on your next holiday? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
Author – I’m Nela, from a small village called Ongha in Namibia. I am intrigued by research, writing and photography as it is an ideal way to gain knowledge about people and the world. And of course… to share it too!