No matter where you’re from, food has an intrinsic way of taking your hand and guiding you on a stroll down memory lane. It often even provides the comforting, sweet taste of home.
My friends who live abroad - when asked what they miss about SA - always mention food. Things like: I can’t get “Mrs Balls Chutney in Australia!” Or, “I miss the taste of real boerewors” and “whenever I drink Coke I crave a giant packet of NikNaks”.
So I imagine they’ll be serious cases of FOMO when we all celebrate Heritage Day this month. I am super excited - we've already started featuring and sharing a few of our favourite braai recipes to get you all in a “Proudly South African” mood.
Our cuisine is marked by such diversity that it’s hard to pin point what makes it truly South African. So it may be a cliché but “melting pot” really is the best description.
To demonstrate this, I asked our team yesterday what their favourite South African food was. Cath says she loves umphokoqo – hot with lots of butter, milk and sugar – which she used to eat as a small child growing up in the Eastern Cape. Jess, our intern loves a snoek braai with apricot jam when she’s on a summer on holiday on the west coast. Danielle enjoys a "lekker" Lamb potjie when she’s with friends and family. Cathy loves biltong and toasted cheese sandwiches with Mrs. Balls Chutney.
Shaina, our American expat says that her favourite SA food is any seasonal produce. According to her we have some of the most amazing fruit and vegetables – with butternut and avocado being “outrageously delicious”. And it seems Jamie Oliver is also a fan of our food. Did you see his Instagram yesterday of a milk tart?
Our site is jam packed with gorgeous recipes that scream, ‘Mzansi’... like waterblommetjie bredie, Malva pudding, Bobotie, Chakalaka, dhaltjies, koeksisters, samoosas, gatsbies, boerewors rolls, Cape Malay curry and so much more.
Don’t let this overwhelm you though when you start planning your menu for Heritage Day. Have you seen our top 10 South African dessert recipes? Or our list of 3 Pinotages for Heritage month? I simply can’t resist bookmarking this Biltong and blue cheese salad recipe – perfect for a Spring lunch. Speaking of Spring, there's nothing that puts me in a better mood at this time of the year than singing along to Koos Kombuis' "Lente in die Boland".
What's your favourite way to celebrate SA? Tell us on Twitter @Food24 and you could WIN a copy of Traditional South African Cooking.
Yours in vuvuzelas and vetkoek,