Monday, September 11, 2006

Hot Dogs Namibian Style #1

Today a little bit about the town where I'm staying - Swakopmund, Namibia. Like most people, I had no idea where Namibia was until I was sent here for work and I don't think many people had even heard of the place until Brad and Angelina came here to give birth to their child (in a little place called Long Beach just down the road).

It's a truly fascinating country and whilst there isn't really space here to do a full travelogue, I can definitely recommend coming here for an unforgettable trip. The sand dunes of Sossusvlei, skydiving over the desert, the villages of the ochre-painted Himba tribe, the mountain at Spitzkoppe and driving through the Gamsberg Pass are just some of the must-dos (Etosha national park should be included in that list too but sadly I won't have time to go there).

What makes Swakpomund distinctive for an African town is it's German heritage and continued strong German influence. Most shop fronts are in German, the architecture is very Germanic and of course the town is populated by German expats. Wiener schnitzel, Berliners and sauerkraut are available everywhere, as are bratwurst and other German sausages.

For lunch today I went to one of Swakopmund's larger supermarkets, Woerman Brock, and got a couple of hot dogs from a guy on an in-store cart.

He was selling two types of sausage: bratwurst and a beef wiener which came in a german bread roll (brotchen). I had one of each. To go with it you can choose from diced cucumber, diced onion, diced tomato and chili sauce (I went for everything except the chili) which are added to the roll first, with the sausage on top. You can then have ketchup and mustard on top (I had both).

The sausages were both pretty tasty, with the beef wiener coming out on top although both of them were the same sausages that are sold in the supermarket so they did have that mass-produced quality. The bratwurst could have done with more seasoning as it was a little bland.

Wurst or South African boerewors are on sale in every supermarket out here. Fresh ones are usually sold as a long 'curl' and occasionally in long, frankfurter sized links. I've yet to see the English style short linked sausage in any shop here... and I'm missing them big time!

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