With so many different cultures and traditions in South Africa, there is no wonder that the traditional food of this country is of various types. In fact, it is considered a land for delicious dining, owing to the remarkable diversity in terms of cultures and many other aspects.
According to the cultural background, the cuisine for each of the race living in South Africa also varies. In general, different dishes are served in accordance with the particular festival and/or occasion.
South Africa: Main Food Ingredients
» Leafy vegetables, bulbs, fruits, nuts, and seafood remain the indispensable ingredients for South African recipes. Corn and meat are used in most of the traditional delicacies.
South Africa: Traditional Food Dishes
It can be served as a hot or cold dish with bread and mielie pap. This savory dish is a favorite of foreign tourists, especially those who crave spicy food.
» Another favorite dish is boerewors (singular), which is a spicy sausage dish made in a continuous spiral form. It is prepared by using coarsely minced meat (preferably of beef, pork, lamb, or combination) and a wide variety of spices that usually include coriander seeds, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and allspice.
For this particular dish, the sausage is preserved in Worcestershire sauce, salt, and vinegar. A true boerewors contains 90 percent of real meat (of which 75 percent is beef and remaining is pork) and less than 30 percent of fat.
» Koeksisters and melktert are excellent traditional South African desserts. The former is more or less like a twisted donut made by deep frying dough in oil and then dipping it in an ice-cold, sugary syrup. It is served as a cold dessert. For making melktert, a pastry crust is baked and it is topped with filling.
» Though dishes made from mopane worm (also spelled as mopani worm) are a delicacy for the native people of South Africa, they are not so popular amongst the tourists. Mopani worm is highly nutritious and the dried form contains high amounts of protein (about 60 percent), fats (17 percent), and minerals (11 percent).
As a preparation step, the guts of the caterpillars are squeezed out and they are boiled with a little amount of water or fried in their own fat.
» Since mopane worms are collected in particular seasons, they are preserved for using throughout the year. People in the rural areas store them by drying and smoking them with flavorful ingredients, which they later consume raw as snacks.
Or the dried caterpillars are soaked in water and cooked with onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables. In order to improve the taste of dried mopane worms, they are often packaged with flavorful sauces. Commercially, these edible caterpillars are also canned and sold in packages.
» While speaking about the South African traditional food, it is incomplete without mentioning biltong. It is a type of cured meat prepared with ingredients like coriander, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
For making biltong, the meat pieces are marinated in vinegar for a few hours, which are then flavored with spices. Sold in nearly all food shops, biltong is a favorite for meat lovers.
These were the traditional dishes of South Africa. Other includes chutney, mashonzha, potjiekos, bobotie, bunny chow, bredie, and skop. The traditional food of this country is in fact, an amalgamation of other cuisines, like the Italian, Chinese, Indian, Moroccan, and Portuguese. And any food dish that you ask for, you will certainly get in South Africa.