By Jenna Wittenberg
One of the best parts of traveling is the chance to try the delicacies and traditional foods of a nation. Namibia is no exception. Whether dining with the natives or eating at a local restaurant you are sure to find a few food dishes everywhere. Mopane worms and smiley are two foods that can be found just about anywhere in South Africa.
Mopane worms, which are actually caterpillars, are prepared in many ways throughout the country. One of the traditional ways of preparing the worms is to squeeze out the innards, boil them and then de-hydrate them. The Boma Restaurant famously fries the worms in a peanut sauce or with tomato, onion and garlic. The restaurant even gives out certificates to those who can manage to get through at least one worm. While the Mopane worms are known for their high source of protein they are often said to taste like cardboard with a gritty texture.
Smiley is a horse of a whole different color, well more like a goat. All parts of the goat are eaten in Namibia but the head is often regarded as the best part. When the head is cooked the corners of the lips curl up giving it its name. For breakfast the goat head is traditionally cooked with corn and curdled milk. For lunch or dinner the smiley is often cooked with vegetables, sometimes as a stew.
Make sure you put both the Mopane Worms and "Smiley" on the menu if you ever make it to Namibia.