Fresh Meat Anyone?

Getting meat here has been tricky from the beginning.  In Luweero, where we trained, the issues were that our power was unreliable so we couldn’t store up meat, and yet to buy any we had to travel about 2hrs, so it wasn’t something we could just get as needed.

In Jinja there are some meats available in the local grocery store, or supermarket, as it is called here.  At a supermarket you can usually find whole chickens and minced meat (ground beef).  It doesn’t always look trustworthy though, with questionable temperatures in the coolers, and meats stored right next to ice cream.  Here are some images of what the supermarkets look like…….

Meat is mostly sold in market (I'll get pictures of market soon.  It is quite the experience).  

The sight of the raw slabs of meat hanging, often all day in the sun, with no type of refrigeration, flies all around, does not necessarily scream “Mmmm, let’s have steak for dinner!”.  So for the first nine months in country we have avoided most meat, aside from the occasional chicken or mince meat, which was still wary at times.  These last two weeks things changed though.  We were eating lunch at a local diner run by a lady from Australia.  We noticed she had filet on the menu.  Jason had been craving a good steak, pretty much since the plane landed, so we gave it a try.  IT WAS DELICIOUS.  I asked Jude where she bought her meat from because all I had seen was the market booths.  She told me about a butcher in town that she had been using for quite some time and that if I told him that Jude sent me then he would make sure that the meat was fresh and cut the way we (as in Westerners) like it.  Ugandans have many different uses for different parts of the animal that we would not even think of, so if you don’t specify, you will end up with all types of cuts of the meat

We decided to be brave and give it a try.  The whole pieces of steak were actually quite a bit cheaper than buying the mince meat in the supermarket, so I even thought that I might start trying to mince my own meat, if I can get the right attachment for my Kitchen Aid.  Best of all, the meat was so good.  It has to be bought a couple of days before you intend to use it and really worked on to tenderize, but the result is worth it.  I still have to hold my breath when I buy it and get past my American thoughts of how meat should be handled though.  My stomach turns slightly every time I go to buy some, but I am sure I will soon get used to it.  Here is our butcher……

Matthew OrtegaComment