04 June 2010

South African 'kwezeen'

From spicy bunny chow to a "smiley" roasted sheep head, World Cup visitors will find local food that reflects South Africa's varied cultures, landscapes and 11 official languages.


From spicy bunny chow to a "smiley" roasted sheep head, World Cup visitors will find local food that reflects South Africa's varied cultures, landscapes and 11 official languages.

Herewith a culinary guide:

BILTONG: Dried strips of beef or game like kudu and ostrich. A much-loved snack.

BOEREWORS: A thick aromatic beef sausage, known as a "boerie roll" if served as a hot dog.

BOBOTIE: Spiced, fruity minced meat baked with bay leaves and egg custard on top. A Cape Malay dish believed to have roots in the East Indies slaves brought by Dutch colonists.

BRAAI: Barbeque, South Africa's best-known and most cross-cultural social custom.

BUNNY CHOW: Curry in a hollowed-out bread loaf, eaten with fingers using bits of bread to scoop up the filling. Originated in host city Durban when black workers weren't allowed into restaurants.

CHAKALAKA: Spicy vegetable relish. Goes with everything.

KOEKSUSTER: Decadently sweet, fried plaited dough dipped in thick sugar syrup.

KUDU: A large antelope with very lean meat commonly served as fillet. Other popular game meats are ostrich and springbok, a small antelope. Crocodile, zebra and giraffe can also be found.

MELKTERT: "Milk tart" sprinkled with cinnamon. Also popular is malva pudding - a spongy baked pudding dessert.

MOPANE WORMS: Protein-packed caterpillars eaten dried or fried until crunchy. Often served in a tomato sauce.

PAP: Thick, bland maize porridge with a texture a bit like polenta and a staple across southern Africa. Served with savoury toppings. Pap and vleis comes with meat often served on sidewalks.

POTJIEKOS: Literally "pot food", a stew traditionally cooked in a three-legged pot over fire.

ROOIBOS: Indigenous "red bush" tea, a popular caffeine-free beverage.

RUSK: A hard, dry biscuit made with a long shelf life used by South Africa's European settlers. Often dunked into coffee or tea.

SHEBEEN: Township drinking tavern with cheap alcohol and festive atmosphere.

SHISA NYAMA: Zulu for hot meat. Diners select raw meat cuts, often to braai themselves in shops or restaurants.

SOSATIE: Chunks of marinated meat or chicken on skewers which are braaied.

SMILIES: Sheep heads par-cooked and roasted with the heat exposing the sheep's teeth into a grin or smile. Usually found at taxi ranks and downtown city markets.

ULUSU: A stew of animal stomachs.

UMQOMBOTHI: Traditional grain-brewed beer. Milky in appearance with a yeasty, sour taste.

VETKOEK/ AMAGWINYA: Balls of deep fried bread dough like savoury doughnuts. Served plain as street food but also can have sweet or savoury fillings.

WALKIE TALKIES: Cooked chicken feet and heads. The feet are also known as "runaways". - (Sapa, June 2010)


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