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from: Eastern Africa

Cardamom Tea

Hot tea spiced with cardamom is popular in Eastern Africa. Unlike Chai, this recipe calls for making the tea first, then adding the cardamom, milk, and sugar.

tea is a cash crop in malawi

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What you do


Theodore Roosevelt

This Extraordinary Habit of the Honey Bird

Honey goes well with tea, but throughout much of Africa people also like to eat honey and honeycomb as a snack. Rural people earn money selling honey they have gathered. Gathering honey is a little easier in Africa thanks to an amazing bird, the Honey Guide (or Honeyguide, Indicator indicator, and Indicator variegatus), which guides people and honey badgers (also called ratels, Mellivora capensis) to bee's nests. The Honey Guide feeds on honeycomb, bees, and bee-larvae which it often cannot obtain by itself.
Theodore Roosevelt went on a year-long African hunting safari in 1909-1910, and wrote African Game Trails: An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist (New York: St. Martin's Press--Peter Capstick Adventure Library, 1988; originally published New York: Scribner, 1910), in which he wrote of the honey guide:

While on safari to the 'Nzoi [river] I was even more interested in honey birds which led us to honey than I was in [hunting] the game. Before starting for Africa John Burroughs had especially charged me to look personally into this extraordinary habit of the honey bird; a habit so extraordinary that he was inclined to disbelieve the reality of its existence. But it unquestionably does exist. Every experienced hunter and every native who lives in the wilderness has again and again been an eye-witness of it. Kermit [Roosevelt]... had been led by a honey bird to honey in a rock, near Lake Hannington. Once while I was tracking game a honey bird made his appearance, chattering loudly and flying beside us; I let two of the porters follow it, and it led them to honey. On the morning of the day we reached the 'Nzoi, a honey bird appeared beside the safari, behaving in the same manner. Some of the men begged to be allowed to follow it; while they were talking to me the honey bird flew to a big tree fifty yards off, and called loudly as it flitted to and fro in the branches; and sure enough there was honey in the tree. I let some of my men stay to get the honey, but they found little except comb filled with grubs. Some of this was put aside for the bird, which ate the grubs. The natives believe that misfortune will follow any failure on their part to leave the honey bird its share of the booty. ... While camped on the 'Nzoi the honey birds were almost a nuisance; they were very common, and were continually accompanying us as we hunted, flying from tree to tree, and never ceasing their harsh chatter. Several times we followed the birds, which in each case led us to bee-trees, and then perched quietly by until the gun-bearers and porters (Gouvimali [Roosevelt's Wakamba gun-bearer] shone on such occasions) got out the honey--which we found excellent eating by the way.
(Chapter XII -- To the Uasin Gishu [plateau in Western Kenya])


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