The last time I tried out a local buffet, there was no indagara, pinali and celery and sardines on the menu, while the ubugali of imyumbati came with its own issues.
For those joining us from Anglophonia, indagara simply means “small fish that look like sardines but are smaller than sardines and are not sardines”. Or silver fish. Or million fish. Or mukene, for those joining us from Bugande.
I have real issues with ubugali of myumbati whenever I find it at my favorite buffet, in that unlike other foods, one literally has to “fight” with the thing just to get a piece. In fact, who knows how to cut this thing quickly and swiftly, without causing traffic jam to the queue of otherwise hungry, sweaty, irritable and impatient diners?
The better option would be the other ubugali (of ibigoli), although it too has its issues, in that most buffets in town simply do not know how to make posho. In fact, a few even keep theirs in the frigo, from which it waits for the next unfortunate diner. When this diner is ready to partake of their meal, the posho mound is now whipped out of the fridge and into the microwave, of course to disguise the fact that it came via the frigo!
I’d rather settle for ubugali of myumbati instead, because at least with it, I can’t imagine someone storing it away in a frigo.
Also, most Kigali buffets are ignorant on what constitutes real meat. Real meat should come complete with bone, and bone marrow, so much so that after having their fill, one must now be drenched in sweat and splattered with soup.
Still with meat, how can it possibly be called a buffet, if I’m restricted on the number of pieces of beef I’m to load onto my plate? Matters are not helped by the fact that at most of the buffets, the portions of meat are usually as small, and light as a box of allumettes!
As for the beans in the average buffet, the last time I checked, there were 22 (yes, all of twenty two) different and diverse recipes for ibishimbo.
Not that moisture-less dry ration of beans that every single buffet seems to front day in, day out. See, that dry ration is perfectly okay when I only intend to use the beans as side dish to decorate the chicken breasts and deep-fried fish and whatever other meats you may offer up on your buffet.
However, there are times when all a son of man needs is a stone-concrete foundation in the belly for every penny spent on food, like in times when broke-ness abounds.
During such times, all I may need from your buffet is the ugali (if it’s piping hot, that is, and some soupy, freshly fried beans. Obviously, that is better than insisting on the meats, when I know I will be restricted to one miserable piece chopped down to the shape and size of a matchbox.