Neal Piper picks up a big spoonful of a white, pasty substance and places it to his lips. He swallows it confidently, and smiles as he announces the taste is "not bad."
But the subtitle on the video explains what he was actually thinking: "This stuff tasted horrible." The whitish substance is actually a porridge of cooked soft maize mixed with milk that's been left to sour for a few days.
"My only comparison is sour chunky milk," Piper said.
"To me, trying new food in an unfamiliar culture is one of my favorite parts about traveling," Piper said. "If you find yourself in Africa, you won't be disappointed by the number of unique dishes available. Here, even the most sophisticated palate will be in pure bliss."
Piper, 31, has traveled all over the world and seen all kinds of things. He first fell in love with travel in Africa - and the food - while visiting the Masai Mara, Kenya, in 2007. He was hooked and came back to the continent in 2009, this time working to boost community health care in Swaziland. That's where the video he submitted was shot. Piper says if you venture off the beaten path or into the murky abyss, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Take cow intestines, for example. The dish is quite common in Swaziland, even if it makes Western palates squeamish. For a first-timer, the sight of that first spoonful of stewing innards being spooned out from a murky-looking pot might be a bit intimidating, but Piper says it's nothing to really be scared of. The dish "actually wasn't as bad" as he expected it would be.
"Everyone says things taste like chicken, but it tastes like beef," he said.
He also demonstrated tasting a dish made from pumpkin leaves, which are reminiscent of spinach, along with ground nuts and pumpkin meat. Piper was happy with his culinary options.
"Overall, I absolutely loved the food in this region," he said. "A one-pound filet of steak costs the equivalent of $5 in the U.S., was grass-fed, and tasted better than any steak I've had at a high-end restaurant."
Piper says the food tasted fine, and he never got sick from it. There wasn't much Western food around except a KFC, so he ate as the locals did except for an American-style meal shipped to the U.S. Embassy. Piper says he did, however, get a bit sick when he returned home and began eating processed foods again.
Things went pretty smoothly for him, but that's not to say he didn't miss a few things from the States.
"I will admit, once I returned home, my first stop was eating at a local Mexican restaurant in Atlanta. Good Mexican food is hard to come by in most parts of Africa."
CNN's Destination Adventure series takes a look at great places for eager explorers. Each week, we'll feature favorite regional foods, secrets from the locals and the best photos and stories from readers. Have you been to Masai Mara? Share your story with CNN iReport. And next week, we'll journey to New Zealand.
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