It is one of the species of Mopane worms we have here.
They are a staple part of the diet in Southern Africa, they are harvested twice a year and sold in the local markets. The mopane worm is the brightly colored caterpillar of the Emperor Moth, which is one of the world’s largest moths, and the caterpillar lives on the leaves of the mopane tree – hence, it gets its name. The worms are hand picked or shaken off the trees. The local collector’s squeeze the Caterpillars to remove their bright green ‘guts’ and then they are cooked in a cauldron of salty water until the water has evaporated, they are then dried in the Hot African Sun. Once dried, they can be stored for many months. Their protein content is three times that of beef, weight for weight, and they are traditionally cooked in a stew containing tomatoes and onions. The biggest worms have the best flavor as they contain more fat ; the texture is similar to tofu or soya meat and they taste a little like dried fish, but they seem to soak up the flavor of whatever they are cooked with. Mopane’s can also be eaten as they are as a snack like, ‘jerky’.