In South Africa Top Sweet 10 foods to try

In South Africa, you’ll find dishes influenced by the indigenous population, along with the Dutch, French, Indians and Malaysians and as such it offers a vibrant cuisine that’s sure to excite the palate.

If you set foot on South African soil, don’t leave before you’ve enjoyed a traditional al fresco braai, as much for the barbecued food as for the cultural experience. Follow it up with a popular melktert (custard-filled pastry) and if you fancy a little snifter to finish then a sweet and creamy glass of Amarula (liqueur) will definitely do the trick.

Don’t leave South Africa without eating:

1. Cape Malay curry

In the 17th century, the Dutch and French landed and settled in Cape Town, bringing slaves from Indonesia, India and Malaysia, along with their spices and traditional cooking methods. When combined with local produce, the aromatic spices such as cinnamon, saffron, turmeric and chilli created fragrant curries and stews, which are still popular in the area today.

2. Biltong & droewors

Dry curing was a method used to preserve meat by the indigenous tribes of South Africa before fridges were invented. Usually made from beef or game, such as springbok, biltong (a thinly sliced, air-dried meat) and droewors (an air-dried sausage) are traditionally eaten as snacks. The meat is cured in a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar and spices such as coriander and pepper, then hung to dry. The finished product is prized by health enthusiasts for its high protein and low fat content. Nowadays, biltong and droewors producers often add flavourings such as chilli or garlic to the meat and use a variety of meats, such as ostrich and wild boar.

3. Boerewors

This is a traditional South African sausage made from beef, mixed with either pork or lamb and a mixture of spices. Boerewors are traditionally served in a coiled shape, similar to the Cumberland sausage and cooked on a braai (barbecue). The word boerewors comes from the Afrikaans and Dutch words boer (farmer) and wors (sausage).

4. Malva pudding

A Dutch import, malva pudding is a sweet and sticky baked sponge pudding made with apricot jam and served smothered in a hot cream sauce. This is South Africa’s answer to the British sticky toffee pudding, served in many restaurants but mainly baked at home for Sunday lunch.

5. Chakalaka & pap

Chakalaka and pap are mainstays on every South African dinner table. Chakalaka is a vegetable dish made of onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans and spices, and is often served cold. Pap, meaning ‘porridge’, is similar to American grits and is a starchy dish made from white corn maize. Chakalaka and pap are often served together, along with braaied (barbecued) meat, breads, salad and stews.

6. Braai/Shisa nyama

For a real taste of South Africa an authentic braai or shisa nyama (‘burn the meat’ in Zulu) is an eating experience not to be missed. Braais originated in the townships of Johannesburg, with butchers who set up barbecues in front of their shops at weekends to grill their meat and sell it on the street. Nowadays, local communities gather at braais at the weekends to share food. Pop along to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, listen to music and take your pick from the meat on offer, usually comprising of beef, chicken, pork, lamb and vors (sausages) – this is not an outing for vegetarians!

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