Today I do not live in Botswana but I encounter many Western tourists who have explored Botswana and one way for them to lament my lack of exoticness is always to tell me, very seriously, that mophane caterpillars are a Botswana delicacy. And truth be told, I was willing to try mophane before but now that they are litmus for Tswana authenticity even to BaTswana themselves (thanks to poisonous Western travel literature) I have no desire to snack on the lovely caterpillar.
The African’s palate is always called only “cultural” and his taste understood as only “tribal” thereby leaving no room for the African’s individual taste. So, I write now of the truth that I am a proud MoTswana man but I will not force himself to eat mophane caterpillars. Simply because they have thorns growing from their body.