Eating like a local is an easy way to make a trip more memorable, so while it’s acceptable to chow down on hamburgers in America and pizza in Italy, visiting a country like South Africa means digging into delicacies like biltong and braai. Here’s a handful of iconic dishes every visitor needs to try.
In a country overrun with (tasty) animals, great and small, it’s probably not a huge surprise that barbequing chunks of meat is the quintessential way of sharing a meal across South Africa. Braai is when friends and family gather around an open fire and cook over hot coals, so think juicy sausages (called boerewors) and lamp chops with side dishes of spicy beans and polenta.
Staying with the meat theme, biltong is the South African version of jerky. Available everywhere, these strips of rich protein, usually beef or ostrich, are spiced and dried until they’re transformed into savoury, chewy treats. The perfect partner for a nice cold beer.
With a name that roughly translates to “fat cake” you know you’re in for a treat
With a name that roughly translates to “fat cake” you know you’re in for a treat with these delicious little balls of fried dough. Stuffed with sweet or salty fillings, including spiced meat, apricot jam and cheese, we’re yet to meet a vetkoek we haven’t loved.
Staying with the stuffed dough theme, if you make it to Durban you’ve got to try one of these. Nothing to do with rabbits, bunny chow is a loaf of white bread filled with yummy curry. Originally invented as a lunchtime meal to eat on the run, we suggest sitting down to enjoy yours from one of the authentic hole-in-the-wall cafés.
You’re going to need a beverage to wash down all that great food, so why not make it a boozy milkshake? Created back in the ’70s, when drinking your dessert was probably more acceptable, a classic don pedro is a shot of whiskey or Amarula mixed with ice cream, and a dash of cream, so you can sip it through a straw. Cheers! Or “Alles van de beste!” as the locals say.
Want to savor a bit of South Africa for yourself? Check out TripADeal’s current tours to the rainbow nation. Just remember to pack an appetite!