Our latest African meal was a combination of foods from Comoros, Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We made Grilled Lobster Tail, Vanilla Shallot Dipping Butter, African Rice and Beans, Congolese Mushrooms with Fresh Lemon Juice and Caakiri (couscous pudding) with pineapple. This was the first time either of us made lobster. The grilled lobster was delicious with the shallot dipping butter. We’ve had beans and rice for several meals, but these were made better when combined with the mushrooms. The cuscus pudding was sweet and refreshing topped with pineapple.
Comoros is a small cluster of islands off the Eastern coast of Africa between Madagascar and Mozambique. Their cuisine is influenced by the Arab, Indian, and French. The flag has 4 stars and 4 strips one for each of the four main islands, it is the middle flag in our picture. Comoros is home to the Livingstone fruit bats, also called the Comoro flying fox. These bats have rounded ears, large orange or red eyes, weigh 18 to 28 oz, have a body length of about 12 inches and a wingspan up to 4 ft 7 inches!
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the 2nd largest county in Africa. It has more thunderstorms than any other place on the planet. There are more people who speak French in the DRC than France. The country has so many resources, but the people are so poor. Only 2% of the roads in DRC are paved because of the terrain. Only 10% of the population has access to electricity and running water. People in the DRC have been through a lot of hard times including King Leopold’s reign of terror (from 1885 to 1908). It is speculated that 8 to10 million people were killed – almost half the population. Inga Falls is where the Congo River drops 315 ft over the course of 9 mi. It looks stunning!
The Republic of Congo, also known as the Congo, is 14 times smaller than DRC but has 3 billion more in public revenue. The equatorial rainforest covers a large portion of the Republic of Congo and contains more than 1,000 bird species, 700 types of fish, and over a 10,000 plant species. There are thought to be 100,000 gorillas in the Congo Basin. One interesting species is the Okapi, a relative of the giraffe, it looks like a cross between a zebra and a deer.