Extremely Unlocal Food: South African Fare

Potjiekos (photo courtesy of South African Tourism)

My neighbors just got back from their first trip to South Africa, a life long dream of theirs. They were still reeling from seeing giraffes, zebras, elephants, and lions (mating!) in their natural habitat, which I related to having seen kangaroos in Australia. Pictures are one thing, having a 6 1/2 foot buck bang his chest like a gorilla a couple of yards away is quite another!

I asked them if South Africa lived up to their expectations, and they wholeheartedly agreed that theirs had been exceeded. Of course, my next question was about the food. Incredible they said. They ate, among many other things, crocodile, warthog, impala, and wildebeast. The conversation got me curious about what else South Africans eat.

So I did some research. Hundred of miles of coastline, rich soil, and a temperate climate produce a wide variety of seafood, produce, and game. African, Afrikaners, English, and Indian and Asian cultures have merged over the last four hundred years to create a unique fusion of flavors. Every dish seems to be a combination of cultures.

Potjiekos (means pot food) is a culinary tradition brought over from the Dutch but fully integrated into South African culture. Browned meat, sauteed vegetables and wine or broth are layered in a cast iron pot and cooked over a fire. Not stirring the pot once all the ingredients have been added is apparently part of the deliciousness of the dish (see photo).

Other mainstays are pickled fish and fruity mild curries from Cape Malay, brought over by slaves in the mid 1600s, salted dried meat (biltong), and bobotie, a version of shepard’s pie.

Afrikaners (South Africans with Dutch heritage) are famous for their meat-laden barbeques, called braai, including handmade farm sausages (boerewors) flavored with coriander, nutmeg and cloves and curried kabobs. Pap en sous, a thick porridge made of corn (not unlike grits recipes), is a staple served at most South African braai as well as tables across all of Africa. It is often accompanied by tomatoes and onions or wild spinach.

To wash down there favorite meals, South Africans are very fond of their African-style mildy alcoholic beer made from the maize or sorghum as well as their world-famous wine from the Cape region.

Just one small conversation with friends and I’ve expanded my culinary horizons!

(Photo courtesy of South African Tourism)

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses