I had hardly got off the plane when I heard the word ‘brochette’ uttered all over Kigali. Oh, there it was again, on restaurant menus. What was this much talked about ‘brochette’, I wondered. ‘Brotchen’ in German is a bread roll, while ‘brioche’ is a lovely sweet French loaf, so in my naivete, I thought ‘brochette’ was a type of sandwich. I soon realised, here in Rwanda, it is almost as ubiquitous as the ‘big Mac’ in other parts of the world but, in my humble opinion, a lot tastier.
Personally, I like my brochette in its virgin state, sizzling hot and fresh off the grill, not smothered in ketchup, mayo or akabanga. What should it be accompanied by – French fries or salad, rice or Irish potatoes? It all depends on whether you’re counting the calories and trying to eat healthily, or you think French fries are to brochettes what butter is to bread – you can’t have one without the other! And what should that beef/goat/fish brochette be washed down with – a nice glass of Drostdy Hof or a cold bottle of Mutzig? Your choice, but personally, I think a glass of red wine complements it perfectly! Where to go to eat brochettes? That’s the big question! Let me tell you, I have been sent hither and thither, from one end of Kigali to the other, in search of brochette bliss. I have stumbled down dirt tracks in Kicikuro and Nyamirambo with only the sketchiest of directions on how to get to the little place with, reputedly, the ‘bb’ (best brochette) in town. I can only conclude that, just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so the best brochette is in the tastebuds of the diner.
I'm a VSO and am based at REB but go around Rwanda running writers' workshops to produce local children's stories. I've lived and worked in Gambia and Uganda and have travelled widely in Africa