I recently noticed that I have not talked about food in any of my posts. There are shows, books, and blogs dedicated to writing about the foods of different cultures.
When I arrived in South Africa I did not know what to expect food wise. I had never heard much about South African cuisine, but after my first meal of chicken curry, I was in love. Although South African curry is similar to Indian curry, there are slight differences. South African curry isn’t as thick, the chicken and vegetables are cut larger, and it doesn’t use as many spices. The coolest thing I ate was chicken curry in a bun (it’s called a fat cake). The bun is deep fat fried dough, which allows this meal to be eaten on the go without a large mess. It’s tasty, it’s great, it’s curry on the go!
One of the weirdest things I ate is called Walkie Talkies. It is cooked chicken legs and chicken heads. There is very little flavor because I think it is only seasoned with salt. Although the taste wasn’t bad, the texture was a little rubbery. What made this South African treat so weird was that the feet still had nails and the head still had the beak. You stick the entire leg (nails and all) in your mouth and then you use your teeth to scrape off the skin and meat as you pull the leg out.
After some curry filled fat cakes and Walkie Talkies, what could be next? How about cooked sisters? This was my favorite South African desert. You deep fat fry dough and then roll it in coconut flakes (for extra taste you can add sugar). Cooked sisters taste so good, and the coconut makes it seem that you are eating healthy. Basically it is a healthier version of donuts…maybe not healthier, but Cooked Sisters are so good!
Before I can even think about concluding this intro to South African cuisine I have to mention braais. Braaing is a way of life, and a very serious custom. You make a fire in a pit, put a grill on top and cook boerwors, sosaties, kebabs,chicken, steaks, sausages, etc. Although the food is wonderful, it is the social aspect of this meal that was my favorite. All the men gather around the braai and talk, while the women gather in the kitchen and prepare the side dishes. Once the meat is cooked everyone gathers together, eats, and talks. It was a lot of fun and reminded me of a BBQ at home. If you go to South Africa you have to partake in curry filled fat cakes, walkie talkies, fat sisters, and a braai.