Postcard from South Africa
To get our World Cupped, we hit up Brooklyn’s outpost of South Africa, the restaurant Madiba. While there, owner Mark Henegan showed us a potjie (above), the three-legged cast iron pot traditionally used to cook stew. Then he filled us in on the most awesomely alarming South African item on the menu: Monkey Gland Sauce.
“We tell people that we rip out a monkey’s glands then cook them, but that’s not true,” he explained. “No one’s sure where the name monkey gland sauce came from, but one story is that it originated when a big French chef came to Johannesburg. While he wasn’t paying attention, someone put fruit into his red wine reduction. He sipped it and shouted, “What is this?!? Monkey gland sauce?!?” But then he realized he loved it. So they put monkey gland sauce on the menu that night and it got written up in all the newspapers. That’s how monkey gland sauce became famous—it was the mixture of a well-known chef from France and the local people in the kitchen.”
At Madiba, they serve monkey gland sauce on ribs. Had it been made of real monkeys, we totally would have gunned it. Instead we opted for an even better main course. One made of bunnies! (Kinda.) Full post on the South African foods we actually ate coming later this week…
Yours in Mastication,
Laura & Adam