South Africa is a country known for a number of different things, from it’s incredible nature reserves to its mother city of Cape Town. What a lot of people sometimes miss, however, is the amazing and delicious foods that can be found throughout the country. With the influence of dozens of cultures, South Africa is an amalgam of a wide variety of ingredients and flavours that are not found anywhere else in the world.
For those travellers that are looking to visit South Africa in the near future, these are the very best foods to keep an eye out for.
Biltong is similar in some ways to jerky found in the United States, except done in a different way and using a wider selection of spices. Biltong is made of different dried meats, which can range from beef to chicken to wild game. It’s such a favourite among the locals that there are expatriate shops popping up around the world to serve bolting to those that have left South Africa but miss its cuisines. Biltong is an absolute must for anyone making their way through the country and can be found at just about every store.
Chakalaka is unique in that it’s open to a lot of creativity, and it’s a great side along some bread and a protein. Chakalaka traditionally consists of a base of certain ingredients, such as garlic, cabbage, beans, carrots, and chillies. The recipe can be mixed and matched to suit every palate, but it’s almost always found at braais, which is the name for local barbecues.
Boerewors is a type of thick sausage that’s usually made out of either beef or pork and tends to contain a specific mix of spices that includes coriander. Also commonly known just as wors, this is a staple of the above mentioned braais, and can be eaten on its own or on a hot dog bun, and makes for a great meal with friends a the rugby game or just for home with real money pokies. It also pairs extremely well with chakalaka, making a more than suitable replacement for the usual sauces, such as tomato sauce.
South Africa is home to the largest population of Indians outside of India, and they have used their traditional cuisines to create something entirely unique to the country, and one of the most popular is bunny chow. Bunny chow dishes consist of a type of curry – usually with a mutton base – that is then added to special bread. The bread is filled to the top with the curry and then closed off with the top of the bread. It’s an extremely popular dish throughout the country and can be easily adjusted to accommodate both vegetarians and vegans.
And lastly is Malva Pudding, a sweet and spongy pudding that contains apricots as the one of the main ingredients. First started in the Western Cape, the dessert has spread around the country and remains a favourite of a large majority of the people. It’s traditionally served fresh and hot, along with a covering of sweet custard.