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)

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Culinary Arts (AS)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Intensive Sommelier Training
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Culinary Arts Specialist
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits