By Tusiime Tutu
Have you ever tried nsenene? Nsenene, the Ugandan term for grasshoppers, are not only consumed as a snack in Uganda but also holds cultural significance. Traditionally, during the rainy months of March to May and again from October to December, swarms of grasshoppers take flight in search of new habitats.
Some of these creatures find themselves irresistibly drawn to the bright city lights, leading to a practice of capture that originated in Masaka District. In Uganda, these grasshoppers are collected, roasted, or fried, becoming a scrumptious delicacy.
However, nsenene is not the only delicacy that tickles the taste buds of Ugandans. There’s another popular culinary delight known as the Rolex. A major food in Ugandan pop culture, the Rolex is enjoyed by people of all ages and social classes, and it can be savoured at any time of the day.
The love affair between Ugandans and the Rolex is a phenomenon worth studying. When in Uganda, an important question to answer is, “Who is your Rolex Guy, and how quickly can they serve you?”
Curiosity piqued by these two culinary favourites, I decided to embark on a gastronomic adventure and create a unique fusion dish – the Nsenene Rolex. For this experiment, I enlisted the expertise of a chef at the Rolex Guy restaurant in Ntinda. Before delving into the lab work of creating this delectable combination, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chef Katy, who shared her experiences navigating the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
During our conversation, Katy recounted the resilience she had to cultivate to weather the storm of the pandemic. Faced with dwindling customers and sporadic sales, she was compelled to temporarily close down her restaurant shortly after COVID-19 hit Uganda.
However, displaying remarkable determination, Katy reopened at a new location in June 2022. Her story serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the ability to rise against all odds.
Now, let’s talk about the Nsenene Rolex. Building upon the basic ingredients of a traditional Rolex – eggs and chapati – this experiment takes it up a notch by incorporating nsenene and vegetables, resulting in a mouthwatering fusion. But don’t just take my word for it; two brave volunteers agreed to be guinea pigs and give the Nsenene Rolex a try for the very first time.
Watch as they embark on this flavour-filled journey, and discover their impressions of this unique culinary creation…