South Africa has a unique past and consists of a melting pot of European, African and Eastern cultures which makes South African food a taste extravaganza. If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Republic, you should try out some traditional Cape Malay food or maybe high-end nouveau cuisine or perhaps a traditional South African barbeque (called a “braai” in the Republic) together with to a glass of exceptional South African wine.
Bobotie is a very well-liked recipe in South Africa. Brought to Africa by the Cape Malay slaves in the early 17th century, you can almost say it is native to South Africa. Soaked bread is combined with minced meat; ideally you should use lamb. It is flavoured with a combination of curry, fried onions, apricot jam, sultanas and fried almond shavings. You can add lemon juice or lemon leaves to give the bobotie its unique fragrance. Halfway through the cooking of a bobotie it is normally covered with an egg-milk topping to give it its appealing gold crusted look.
A very traditional and ritualistic meal that is usually prepared for a very unique or special celebration, because it takes such a long time to prepare. There is a great deal of different recipes for making “biriyani” and each recipe has originality about it. Lamb and chicken is seasoned in a spicy natural yogurt mix and the rice is seasoned with cumin, cinnamon and cardamom. Layers of seasoned fried potatoes and meat are loaded into a pot and these are covered with rice sprinkle with saffron. Sometimes the cook would add sultanas and nuts just before you serve the food. The pot is closed and sealed and then steamed in the stove. It normally tastes much better the following day because the fusion of the spices and the taste of the meat, rice and veggies improve with time.
The boerewors originated from the early German settlers that came to the Cape during the 17th and 18th century. It was very well-liked with the pioneering forefathers of white South Africans called the “Voortrekkers” that used to combine coarsely diced meat either (beef or pork) with a combination with spices, preservatives and vinegar. Over the last couple of centuries, the meat steadily evolved to what it is today – “Boerewors”.
Even though the traditional boerewors comes in many different ranges, a typical “Boerewors” is a rather coarsely textured sausage. It typically consists of a 50% pork and a 50% beef combination, seasoned with various spices like cloves, coriander, allspice and nutmeg. The boerewors is very prominent and popular at “braais” also known as barbeques, where it is smoked and cooked over very hot coals. Just like biltong, it has become an institution in South Africa.
Boerewors can also have dried and then become dried boerewors similar to beef jerky or biltong.
Boerebeskuit – South African breakfast delicacy
The literal meaning of boerebeskuit in English is farmers-rusks. Boerebeskuit is a South African food heritage that was first made by the “Voortrekkers” when they left Cape Town and became nomads. In those years, it was sometime very difficult to keep food fresh, so drying out food was a way to keep food preserved. Bread was cooked in a certain way, cut into smallish blocks and afterwards dried in a stove. These days there are many different recipes and selections where you are able to buy rusks, biscuits and cakes. Soaked in tea, milk or coffee to make it soft, it is a wonderful light morning meal. The moment you taste it, you will want more.
The food preparation style of the “Voortrekker” pioneers progressed into what it is aptly named today – “Afrikaner boerekos”. It is a conventional and national style of preparing food that is appreciated specifically by the Afrikaans offspring of the “Voortrekkers” that named themselves “Afrikaners” (the literal meaning implying Africans).
Typically, you will find 4 main cornerstone ingredients on your plate, meat, great deals of carbohydrates, normally consisting of potatoes and rice and pumpkin or veggies. A typical plate of Boerekos could consist of a roast leg of lamb, delicious gravy, crunchy roast potatoes, white rice, pumpkin fritters. Deeply satisfying and extremely delicious.