SOUTH Africa is a meat-loving nation.
According to recent statistics, Mzansi has a meat-eating culture, with the protein being eaten on an average of four times per week.
The vast majority, 84% of the population, are meat eaters, with 90% eating it more than twice a week.
And, one of these proteins most loved by people is skopo.
Also sometimes referred to as intloko or smiley, this is a cooked goat, sheep or pig head meal usually eaten off the bone. It is often sold in local hostel dwellings in the townships and taxi ranks.
While some might find the thought of eating an animal’s head gruesome, many have fallen in love with skopo.
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According to William Mahlangu, who works at a cow head processing factory, up to 150 heads are processed each day.
William adds that much of the meat is sold to sellers who sell food on the street.
But at the factory, they also cook it for customers. Then they put it on a large table, add hot sauce and eat it with uphuthu (dry pap).
According to South African Tourism, part of the love of skopo lies in its simplicity during preparation. Once thrown into a large pot, you just add cold water and salt.
Then you boil over high heat and add chopped onions. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for two hours or until the meat is tender. So, are there health benefits to eating skopo?
Experts list some of these benefits:
1. Contains good minerals
Skopo is rich in vitamins and minerals, and contains a good source of vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, iron and copper – all good for your bones.
2. It includes brain meat, that is also good for you
According to Medical News, brain meat contains omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients. The latter include phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine, good for the nervous system. The antioxidants obtained by eating brain meat are also helpful in protecting the human brain and spinal cord from damage.
3. It’s low in cholesterol
In addition to low-fat content, skopo is also low in cholesterol counts. It has lower overall fat, saturated fat and cholesterol levels than other meaty parts of the animal.