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By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

Kentucky Fried Crocodile? Exotic meat is a hit at this Soweto shisanyama

Soweto shisanyama customers can't get enough of delicious crocodile meat, says owner.

Who’d have thought good old croc could taste so good?

Esibayeni Siyasutha’s owner Sibusiso Madlala first tasted the crocodile a year ago during a bushmeat shopping trip in Randburg.

Madlala said although it wasn’t love at first taste, because he didn’t enjoy the stewed version served to him, the Pimville business man decided to give crocodile a second chance.

Eager to put his own twist the minute he got home, Madlala sprinkled some chicken spices onto the exotic meat and voilà, a finger lickin’ recipe was born!

Croc’s taste and ‘powers’

He told The Citizen it’s been over a year since introducing crocodile meat to his customers, but they still can’t get enough.  

While some simply enjoy the taste, Madlala said others believe the meat “ikhipha udliso,” roughly translated means to eliminates the effects of “love potion”.

Madlala also said residual oil from preparing the fatty crocodile meat has become a popular purchase among customers, due to their belief in the oil’s love potion curing “powers”.

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Finding stock?

The Soweto entrepreneur said crocodile meat is not easy to find.

“Right now, I don’t have stock,” he said. “I’ve ordered for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Crocodile is not the only exotic meat Madlala’s Esibayeni Siyasutha sells.

When introducing exotic meats to his menu, Madlala said he also included kudu and springbok, but said they didn’t do as well as crocodile meat. So, he decided to place the meats exclusively on the weekend menu.

Faster than chicken

The Pimville business man said the croc doesn’t cost much more than regular meat. He spends between R125 and R130 per kilo for the meat – and only sells crocodile tail, which he braais.  

According to Madlala, meat from the crocodile’s body is only used for stews, which he doesn’t offer.

He also said crocodile meat cooks a lot faster than beef and chicken.

“If you order chicken or beef alongside someone who ordered crocodile – they’ll finish eating their meal before you get your order,” joked Madlala.

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Adding to the mix

Plans to expand the exotic menu? Madlala said he’ll soon be adding rabbit meat to the mix.

Madlala’s wish is for government to teach people about farming possibilities outside of the “usual species” like cattle and chickens.

So, what comes with the croc? Madlala said Esibayeni Siyasutha’s exotic meat is served with pap and delicious salads.

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