I am feeling a bit better today after a good night's cry, long talks with Rico and my mom, and emails to my Dad. Also, thank you, my blog friends, for the emails and comments yesterday. I will write more about what happened later on in the day, as I'm supposed to go on a site visit in a few minutes...
In the meantime, to satisfy your curiosity:
This very popular South African sauce is usually eaten with steaks, though it goes well with chicken and other meats too. While no monkeys or their glands are used in the sauce's preparation, it does include just about every ingredient you could imagine inhabiting one's kitchen pantry.
I've heard several versions of the origin of monkey gland sauce, but the general idea is this: at some point, French chefs came to South Africa to cook at a fancy hotel or a prominent food festival or something along those lines. The chefs tried to impress their clients with delicately flavored haute cuisine sauces. Unfortunately, they didn't go over so well with the predominately Afrikaaner palate.
Frustrated, the French chefs decided to invent the most vile sauce imaginable and get revenge on the people so obviously incapable of appreciating fine cuisine. They threw together all of the ingredients in the kitchen - garlic, onion, fruit chutney, wine, port, vinegar, chili paste, ketchup, curry, etc. and called it monkey gland sauce as a joke. To the great surprise of the chefs, instead of becoming ill at the dubious concoction, the South Africans absolutely loved the sweet-sour taste of the new sauce, and a national tradition was born.
Like barbeque in the South, or green chile stew in New Mexico, everyone has his own special recipe for monkey gland sauce. You can find a few versions here, here and here.