Africans do not celebrate Halloween, but we still want to share with you a few scary animal proteins to avoid in Liberia foods. Isn’t it terrible when someone eats muddy/rotten meat yet makes fun of you for eating grass? We want vegetarian African food newbies to have information and release at meat-eaters if mockery or bullying starts. West African food recipes are filled with many of these scary meat proteins. But foods in Liberia are vast and delicious, and we always have more plant-protein options to share. So no need to settle for scary meat for the sake of reaching your protein intake goals. Subscribe to our monthly Digest to travel Africa in the form of making yummy recipes at home. This article will empower plant-protein lifestylers. But we will not list plant based meat alternatives here, this is for the meat eaters. So, when they tell you to go eat the grass outside, cite, quote or show them this!
1- Kiss Meat food in Liberia
What is Kiss meat?
Foods in Liberia have another level of humor. Kiss meat is the name Liberians call Tympanotonos fuscatus, a snail.. It is also called the Common Periwinkle. This particular snail is specific to Africa’s mangroves. As a Liberian who became plant-based and vegetarian, I’m glad this was never my main protein source or favorite food before. Not only are they scary, but they could be bad for your health.
Due to their tendency to bioaccumulate heavy metals, they have been used in studies of environmental presence of heavy metals, and the samples taken from markets have been found to be excessively high in cobalt and manganeseLarry Stenger, Echemi
Liberians cleverly called this food Kiss meat based on how it is eaten. They pucker up and suck the snail out. Note, the actual snail is pea-sized; it is a very small snail! People have to suck and kiss, while making certain sounds. West African food recipes around the web didn’t mention this huh? With Humble Vege you get to learn interesting local facts along with vegetarian African food recipes. From all the West African food recipes we want to share with you, how to cook kiss meat is not one of them. The spookiness continues!
Meat-eaters, are you spooked?
Some meat-eaters try to bully vegetarians or plant based folks by saying, “Go outside and eat the grass.” We say to the victim, don’t be vexed, get intel. From Liberia foods, we do not recommend this one. Kiss meat is prepared by washing the mud from the snails. Newsflash some mud remains! After washing it, they take a rock to break the snails tail, thinking the poop (green item in the image below) will come out. Of which it doesn’t! They then boil the snails in hot water. Lastly, they use the peanut butter marinade to make it taste delicious, while hiding any large bit of mud or poop that is left from the snails. Next time you eat Kiss meat from a street vendor or at home, you will think twice. We think our plant based meat alternatives are better.
2-Cow Skin as Food in Liberia
From the food in Liberia, we think cow skin is also spooky! Other West African food recipes bloggers throw this “protein” in meals without telling you the real facts. After this intel, plant-based meat alternatives might look appealing. You will not find this rubber, sorry I mean “protein” in our vegetarian African food recipes. Because we know foods in Liberia are vast and there are more edible things besides cow skin. We mentioned cow skin is one of many among Liberia foods but did you know countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and other West African nations eat it too?
As someone who begrudgingly ate cow skin, this is not the highlight of Liberia foods. Cow skin tastes like rubber. If you do not have chewing gum and want something “natural” then fine, eat cow skin. Similar to chewing gum, do not swallow it! And do not try to pull it with your teeth, it might break them! Are plant based meat alternatives starting to look favorable? Oh, by the way, they cook it for 8-24 hours and yet it still tastes like rubber…and they love it. No meat-eater should try to intimidate a vegetarian for eating grass, leaves and trees. That would just be a “ broad day witchcraft” as they say in Liberia.
Last, but not the least, is muen-muen. Not to be confused with moin-moin (a bean flour meal). Basically, muen-muen is a fermented or rotten fish that some people eat and love. The smell sure can clear a room, and you will want to leave too after you eat it and pass gas. Hazmat control has nothing on you. Vegetarian African food naysayers might say: “Well, how about asparagus, it stinks too!” Asparagus stinks only when you eat it and you urinate, not when you buy it or cook it.
Muen-muen all around stinks. Not many West African food recipes bloggers show muen-muen. Again, Liberia foods have a sense of humor. Did you know most adults in Liberia are shy to openly buy muen-meun from the market? They send children instead! But jokes aside, I like fermented foods too, just not muen-muen. We contest that our plant based fermented foods are healthy and party friendly. Try some fermented plant based meat alternatives or a millet porridge.
Lastly, Eating Grass Is Not So Terrible
This is our 2023 Halloween Special on Liberia foods. We will choose another country for next year. What other West African food recipes have you eaten with any of the spooky meats? Are there other foods in Liberia that we should consider? We support vegetarian African food so check out the plant based meat alternatives suggestions. Curious about a no-animal-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations.
Delicious Liberian recipes: