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Travel + Culture

Sausage Does Grow on Trees


sausage tree
On a recent trip to East Africa, I was searching along the savannah for elephants but thought I was hallucinating when I saw sausages growing on trees. I looked again, and there they were: luscious-looking links of generous girth and length, dangling silhouettes of promising goodness hanging off the branches, gently swinging in the wind. Kigelia pinnata, or Kigelia africana, is used in local brews and for medicinal purposes but not consumed unless you're bulimic (it's a purgative) or you're wildlife (read: elephants, giraffes, baboons, et al.). In other words, these sausages aren't for me, not even in my wildest dream. Then I remembered that God is cruel. He giveth (the idea), then taketh (the sausage). To create a tree that has giant sausages that I can't eat is just plain mean.

lillian chou,