Expo Milan 2015 is an annual Global Exhibition that runs for six months (from May to October 2015) providing a platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions related to food. The theme of this year’s expo is “Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life” with over 140 countries each demonstrating their creativity in food production, processing and innovations in food for a sustainable future. Expo 2015 is giving the millions of visitors the opportunity to learn about, experience and taste some of the world’s best and most interesting dishes, while discovering some unusual food crops and traditions of the exhibitor countries.
Zimbabwe’s exhibition is hosted by the Ministry of Industry Trade and Commerce under the direction of the capable and vibrant Constance Zhanje. Zimbabwe is in the Cereals and Tubers cluster where the nation is exhibiting various foods such as sorghum, millet, grain amaranth, cassava and sweet potatoes. Other food products such as baobab are also on show.
The major highlight of our stand seems to be the Croco Burger with Baobab sauce. The patty is made out of crocodile meat and is served with cheese and spicy and tangy sauce made from baobab fruit powder. To accompany this burger is the baobab and grape drink. These have been real crowd pullers as evidenced by the long queues outside the stand. On a busy day like Saturday or Sunday nearly 1500 burgers were sold.
The Croco Burger is a real treat and one can never have enough of it. The crocodile patty is light, tender, juicy and tasty. Crocodile meat is low in cholesterol rendering the burger healthy too. The baobab flavour offers an exotic zing that excites the taste buds leaving you craving for more of its unique African bite. It is not surprising that the people queuing were repeat purchasers.
The baobab and grape drink was a fusion of the familiar with the exotic. Baobab alone can be overbearing to someone tasting it for the first time. The blend of baobab and grape optimised the taste making it yet another instant hit for the Zimbabwe stand.
One thing was clear though, the event’s organisers had not anticipated so much traffic to the Zim stand. It was not located strategically to accommodate the long queues. The queues obscured the entrances to other stands and were quite a nuisance to manoeuvre around. Customers wanting to buy the burgers seemed undeterred by it though as they waited patiently for their turn, sometimes up to 45 minutes.
Could crocodile burgers become Zimbabwe’s next showcase food? We will have to find out from the Zimbabwe team when they return at the end of the month.