There is no better way to get a sense of local flavors than to eat what is sold on the street. Although there are not as many street food vendors as in other developing countries or in hipstervilles across the U.S, there are still many interesting foods that combine indigenous flavors with colonial influences. These are the recipes I am collecting to try at home!
The picture and recipe for the bunny chow I plan to make at home comes from this blog. Bunny chow combines the bland, soft white bread of the British with traditional curry flavors from India. The South African Indian community is largely descended from indentured servants who arrived in South Africa after 1860. Durban, on the Eastern Cape, is well known for its fantastic Indian Food and for inventing the uniquely South African dish pictured below.
To assemble the bunny slice the top off of the bread loaf, hollow out the bread loaf but keep the top, fill with curry, garnish with greens and seal the bunny with the top of the loaf. The curry soaks into the white bread and melts in your mouth! I plan to make bit-sized bunnies for our South African reunion in New York.
A South African Braai (BBQ) of Boerewors & Pap en Sous
There is so much diversity in South Africa. People speak different languages (11 officially), practice different religions (practically all of them), and associate with different political parties (9ish in total right now). What all South Africans have in common, however, is that they eat pap. Pap consumption would be analogous to rice consumption in some Asian and Latin American countries. Pap is made from mielie-meal, or ground maize, and comes in many forms. Slap pap is like a porridge, stywe pap is thicker and can be held in the hand, and phuthu pap is dry and crumbly. It can be eaten at breakfast- mixed with milk and sugar- or for lunch and dinner- covered in stews, curries, or sauce (sous). I think this recipe looks interesting.
My favorite presentation is with grilled Boerewors- a beef sausage with strong coriander and clove flavors. I like this recipe because it mixes pork and beef.
I don’t know if I would try to make biltong at home, but it is a delicious jerky-like meat. The difference is that biltong is cured with vinegar and spices and is never smoked. Most of the time it is made from beef but sometime you can find other game meat like ostrich and springbok in biltong form.