Monday, August 18
Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

Hungry for a snack? Here’s an up-close shot of the food I was offered on the street today:

Yum. Almost like a bag full of gummy worms.

Yum. Almost like a bag full of gummy worms.

That’s right; fried caterpillars are popular here in Bobo-Dioulasso, (see map) Burkina Faso’s second-largest city.

An American I met here named Hannah says they taste like “crunchy burntness.” I’ll take her word for it. I’m pretty open to trying unidentifiable fruits, veggies, starches and drinks, but when it comes to munching on something with too many legs to count, I’ll pass.

As I’ve slowly moved across West Africa during the last two months, I’ve watched the street food change. And I’ve eaten so much of it without getting sick that I’m convinced I’ve got a super-human stomach.

In Senegal, I started my days with bean sandwiches. In Mali it was fried eggs on bread. Here in Burkina, they’re more into meat on a stick with a risky but tasty mix of raw cucumbers, onions and tomatoes.

Homemade peanut butter

Homemade peanut butter

Avocados also are plentiful here, much to my delight. And I’m now rotating my fruit diet of mangoes with juicy watermelon and pineapple.

Since peanuts are harvested locally, peanut sauce on — you guessed it — rice is a staple meal. Locals also feast on homemade peanut butter!

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