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For decades, Thika Town has always been conspicuous for its pineapples. Visitors to this this industrial and commercial hub of Kenya have always yearned to grab a slice of the juicy fruit whenever they lay foot in Thika. Furthermore, Del Monte Kenya Ltd, Africa's largest exporter of pineapple products, has its base in the town.

But of late, Thika has gotten so popular for another kind of delicacy, the delicious grilled pork popularly known as ‘pork choma’. The town plays host to countless butcheries selling both uncooked and ready-to-eat pork flesh. It has become this one place where all pork eaters converge. Talk of pork choma or kapork dry fry, you’ll definitely find it here and it’s in great quantity. 

Thika Town has surely developed into a pork city, cementing its status as the place of diversified meat eateries. Travelers using the Thika Super-highway as well as the Thika-Garissa Highway do stop over for this delicacy. Virtually every part of Thika including the residential areas has a pork joint. The eateries are slowly but surely turning Thika Town into a favoured food tourism centre. 

The butchers will tout you via beautiful young ladies who lure you into their joints, warmly welcoming you with sweet voices and a smiling face. Some even offer a banana at the entrance to aggravate your appetite as they wait to serve you with the mouth-watering meat.

Pork merchants have perfected the art of skinning it and removing fat, which most people don’t like in pork. The ambiance that greets you is marked by a truly ‘pork haven’ experience. The meat is always served hot and fresh, well roasted in an oven. 

For most people, the only seasoning used for authentic pork choma is salt and pepper, though some butchers will marinate their meat in a mixture of minced onions, minced garlic, ground ginger, hot pepper flakes and a little lemon juice. More often than nought, pork choma is consumed without using any cutlery, just seasoned with some salt before you slip the steaming hot piece of meat into their mouth. The patrons have the option to accompany this popular dish with ugali or kienyeji and ‘kachumbari’ salad, a refreshing mix of tomatoes, onions, chili pepper and coriander.

 One common feature in almost all these pork joints is that your choma is always served on a wooden or plastic chopping board with a small pile of salt, and an almost ritualistic washing of hands precedes partaking of the meat.

In Thika Town, there is no shortage of pork choma since the meat is available as early as 8:00am. As early as 9:00am, you can enjoy ready meat with hot Ugali as your breakfast with most of these businesses closing past at10:00pm.

One funny fact about these swine butchers is that they always seem to charge the same price for both the cooked and uncooked pork. 

The demand for pork in Thika Town is still unmet. Very many people are now opting to eat pork, especially now that doctors are discouraging people from eating red meat due to the risk of cancer infection.

To sum this up, Thika has turned out to be pone to much of Nairobi’s workforce which has in turn led it to being a hospitality and entertainment spot. So, next time you pass over, make sure you don't miss out on this essential part of our heritage

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