One of the things we definitely enjoy the most in Cape Town, is the food. Not only because we just love food, but also because of the interesting and controversial history behind it. You can instantly see the country’s history in every meal that’s being served. We have tried many dishes in South Africa, and in this article you will read what our top 3 is. We have even prepared one of our favourite meals, which you can see in the video below! But first, we will tell you more about the history behind the South African food.
The South African cuisine is a melting pot of several cultures. The local food shows lots of influences from the Dutch-, Malay-, German-, French-, British- and Portuguese cuisine. Obviously, this is due to a very dark history. In 1652 the Dutch settled in Cape Town, South Africa. Within this period, the Dutch settlers brought spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to the country. Besides the spices, cooking techniques like braaing also has a relation with the Dutch settlement. Not only the Dutch, but also the German and French farmers in South Africa (known as the Afrikaner) were moving to different grazing fields. This is because their cattle got bigger and bigger, and so the need for more land. During this search for more land, the farmers were hunting and prepared their meat on open fires. This way of grilling meat, is what we now call “Braaien”.
Eventually the South African cuisine got more and more influences from other cultures. This was of course due to the slaves that were brought by the Dutch and British from Indonesia and India.
So what South African dishes do we like the most?
- South African Biltong
Although Biltong is often eaten as a snack instead of a meal, we had to include this in our top 3. Biltong is delicious dried meat with different spices. You can buy Biltong on every corner of the street. People in South Africa LOVE Biltong, and so do we. We even got the chance to meet the best Biltong maker in Mosselbaai! He showed us exactly how to make it (you can see that in our vlog here)
- Seafood tomato-sauce Potjie
There are different kinds of Potjie recipes, and basically Potjie refers to slow-cooking in a thick iron or clay pot. Our favourite Potjie was the one filled with seafood and freshly made tomato-sauce. We had this delicious meal in Simons Town, where we visited the South African penguins.
- Braaied Lamb Tomato Bredie
Although a Bredie (stew) is a bit similar to a South African Potjie, the main difference is that a Potjie is cooked in layers. We noticed that stews are very popular among the South Africans, and so we of course had to try the most famous one: Braaied Lamb Tomato Bredie. We loved how the soft meat blended so well with the juicy sweet tomatoes. It also reminded us of a famous Dutch food concept called: BRAM’S Gourmet Frites. BRAM’S is the most famous brand in the Netherlands when it comes to fresh fries. They serve their hand-cut fries with different kinds of stews. One of our favourites is the “Pulled Pork BBQ Stoof”. A stew with pulled pork meat, mixed with apples, onions, and a special BBQ sauce. In total BRAM’S has five stews and they are always served on top of their well-known fresh fries. This inspired us the re-make our favourite South African Bredie Stew. Normally this stew is eaten with rice, but we wanted to give it a Dutch twist by replacing the rice with fresh fried fries. Below you can see how we prepared this recipe! (If you want to know more about the Dutch concept, you can visit their website here!)
See how we made our own version of the Braaied Lamb Tomato Bredie in the video below!
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