Mopane worm

Mopane worm or Mopani is the caterpillar of the moth called Gonimbrasia Belina. In many parts of south Africa people eat these worms. They are rich in proteins. Mopane worm is the term used in English as it can usually be found on the Mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane). Mopane worm is known under many different names. In Botswana, for example, the locals call it mashonja or phane.

Mopane worms
Mopane worms

Mopane worms are usually hand-picked and then dried in the Sun. Sometimes they are smoked. Dried worms do not have very strong taste. That is why they are also sold in tomato or chilli sauce. The worms are available at local markets or in supermarkets. They can be eaten as snack, fried with onions or added to various dishes. In some cases they are soaked before preparation.