Browse through South Africa�s gourmet and discover the pleasures of the South African table. South Africa�s glory lies in its scenic splendour, contrasts, diversity and its fine cuisine.The country�s recipes offer a great spectrum of good food and appeals to the widest audience; a real gourmet�s paradise.South Africa�s historical heritage contributed to the diversity of its recipes, which originated during the settling of the Dutch East India Company�s Service Base, in the Cape Province. Sea-farers of various nations, Malayen Slaves, French Huguenots, British and Scottish Settlers - who settled in South Africa - all contributed to the South African Cuisine.
The exotic dishes of the Malayen and Indian kitchen predominantly influenced the South African Cuisine, i.e. favourite dishes such as "Sosaties" (mutton and beef shashlik), "Bobotie" (mutton- mince and curry casserole) and various types of meat and vegetable stews. These specialities, especially the "Waterblommetjie bredie" is best enjoyed in the Cape region.
Beef, lamb, or fish curry dishes should best be tried in Durban. These deliciously diverse appealing meals can be prepared back home - none of the recipes are very difficult.Simply visit the Indian market in Durban, which should be compulsory under any circumstance, where all sorts of exotic spices as well as recipes may be acquired. By the way, an authentic curry-mix is also considered as an original South African gift.Should the curry be a little "too hot" simply add rasped coconut. The British introduced roastbeef and various puddings. Cucumber sandwiches, scones and crumpets are typical for traditional tea times. The typical English Breakfast was also introduced to South Africa. This is still served in all major hotels today.
The South African�s love for grilling meat - a barbecue, dates back to the Voortrekker era, the first pioneers in the foreign country. On their long treks, only the bare necessities of life were taken along; this resulted in fresh hunted meat being grilled over an open flame. This custom later led to the South African�s favourite pastime, the "Braaivleis"; "Braai" meaning grill, "Vleis" meaning meat in Afrikaans. Beef, pork, mutton and a ring-formed "boerewors"(sausage) as well as "pap" (a dry mushy maize porridge) contribute to a Braaivleis, which results in a mighty thirst. However, plenty of good wine and fresh beer solves this problem. Also non-alcoholic beverages are of excellent quality: Appletizer, Grapetizer and natural fruit juices from Liqui Fruit.As desert the "melktert" (milktart) must be tried.During the long treks, needs led to inventions, resulting in various tasteful methods of keeping meat fresh. Large quantities of pre-cooked meat is used for "Bobotie", the meat of various "Sosaties" are vinegar marinated meat pieces."Biltong", an enjoyable snack, is a well-seasoned and air-dried piece of meat, which can be gained from cattle, kudu, ostrichs or even elephant.
For the fish and seafood lovers, South Africa is just the right place, considering its coastal stretch of over 3000 km. The fresh "catch of the day", mussels and especially cray fish are extremely popular. The motto in Cape Town being "Lobster that you eat today, slept last night in Table Bay". Also very typical on the menu is fresh "Linefish" - simply meaning that the particular fish was caught by fishing rod.
What is a good dish without an appropriate glass of wine? Let us indulge into South African wines, which are considere to be amongst the best in the world. The South African viticulture boasts a long tradition. First wine stocks were introduced into the Cape about 300 years back.The experienced French Huguenots contributed vastly towards the fact that today South African wines are giving the French a good run for their money. The majority of the winelands are found in a radius of 160 km from Cape Town.
A visit to Stellenbosch, the capital of South Africa�s wine industry, is absolutely compulsory when visiting the Cape. This University City with its stylish Cape Dutch architecture has an interesting romantic flair and also serves as an excellent base from which many wine farms can be visited. Not to forget the excellent wine tasting oppurtunities. The distinguished Cape wines perfectly compliment the South African Cuisine. In order not to run dry, make sure that your choice of restaurant is licenced! Should it not be, simply bring along your own wine.
Did we wet your appetite? You will soon realize that restaurants in South Africa appeal to the widest audience, from gourmets to newcomers, for the full spectrum of good food is included, from the classic realms of haute cuisine, to the most informal plating.Various nations have contributed to the South African cuisine, making it one of the most diverse in the world. To enable you to enjoy a good South African wine back home, please refer to our Wine (and Wine Route) folder which supplies you with a few local addresses of wine merchants.
Cheers and enjoy your meal!