For many wine drinkers, South Africa is a bit of a mystery. A lot of stores have shelves of cheap bottles with various animals on the label, but while people all over the world assumed there wasn't much out there beyond 'Goats do Roam,' South Africa got busy making really great wine. Let's get caught up, shall we?
'South Africa' on Serious Eats
Africa may not be at the top of your mental list of tea-producing continents, but you'd better believe they grow it. Though export to North America is not as widespread as the teas of China, Japan, Taiwan, and India, the teas produced in Africa fall quietly below our radar but are certainly worth exploring.
For a true one-of-a-kind offering, look no further than our bunny chow — a loaf of cheap, white sandwich bread that's been hollowed out and filled with Indian-style curry. The loaf — which can be ordered in quarter or half sizes for those not inclined to hork down a loaf of bread for lunch — gets filled with a saucy curry and is then capped with the removed bread.
I'm all for eating both adventurously and locally, but sometimes all an American expatriate wants is a little taste of home. So what sort of pantry items are worth toting from the U.S.A. to South Africa? Here's my Top 10. I'm willing to bare my soul and withstand your mockery in the name of Culinary Ambassadorship.
Alright, I'll admit it. I never thought I would be the kind of person to succumb to addiction, but over the past few weeks, well...I've become addicted to the World Cup. Naturally, restaurants across the country are publicizing their extended hours and special menus during World Cup month, but they aren't usually featuring actual South African cuisine. I investigated some of the most traditional and representative dishes: braai, biltong, boerewors, mealie, potjiekos, and bobotie. Learn a little about each.
"You need a good, strong breakfast to have enough energy to blow on your vuvuzela for 90 straight minutes..." —rheogs, on "A 'Typical' Breakfast in South Africa"
Centuries of European rule have left their mark on the "typical" South African breakfast. It's a tea-and-coffee culture, so breakfast is often a cup of something hot (with lots of sugar added) served alongside something bready. That can be a piece of toast with jam or cheese, a rusk (a thick and tooth-breakingly hard cookie), buttered bread, or even a hot dog bun.
By day, Julian Abramson is a chili pepper farmer about an hour north of Cape Town, South Africa. But whenever he wants, he can also be a pizza oven master since his backyard wooden oven—using wood from a non-native Australian tree—is heated 24/7. As a farmer, Abramson naturally has pots filled with herbs, tomatoes, and peppers for his pizza's homemade sauces and toppings. His favorite combo: bananas, green chili, and garlic. He makes the thin-crust pies "spontaneously all day whenever he, his family, or random neighbors are hungry." GoodEater.org contributor Joshua Levin visited Abramson in Tierfontein, South Africa. Levin...