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10 Foods you probably didn’t know were unique to South Africa

Ever lived abroad and realised some of your favourite foods weren't a 'thing' anywhere else?

by: Julie Donald | 15 Sep 2017

(image: iStock)

With Heritage Day coming up I was browsing for cool South African food ideas, and I started to realise that there is a ton of great food that I thought was universal, but turns out is unique to South Africa.  

Here are some from my list, revel in the unique delights our country has to offer!

Like seriously? Who knew we were sitting on this secret? Other countries have oatmeal cookies, but nothing as crunchy and simultaneously squishy as our beloved Crunchie.
Click HERE for a recipe!

Cremora tart
Yes, you read it here first. If you haven’t made or eaten a Cremora tart you are missing out on a true classic. The bizarre properties of Cremora that allow it to be dissolved in water and then whipped to a foamy cream, the final tart resembles a fridge cheesecake.
Click HERE for a recipe!

I think it started with Peppermint Crisp tart (layers of crushed biscuits, caramel, whipped cream and crush Peppermint Crisp chocolate), but this distinctive flavour profile has morphed into cocktails, cakes, cheesecakes and more. ALSO READ: 9 Peppermint Crisp recipes that will leave you giddy with excitement

Stewed green beans
I call these “Afrikaans beans”. The heavenly combination of slow cooked green beans, small diced potatoes and butter. What is not to love?

Marmite tart
Um, yes, another quirky South African invention. This tart is basically a mixture of butter, flour, cheese, eggs and milk to make a cheesy tart, baked and then a topping of melted butter and Marmite is poured over. Peculiar, but pleasant!

The first time I realised that these might be unique to South Africa was in my first year at ‘varsity.  My American roomie didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, and the closest thing she could compare them to was a biscotti. It was a great pleasure to introduce her to Oumas, or as she called them, “Oooomas”. Click HERE for the best rusk recipe!

Chilli bites or “dhaltjies
These little gems are a fried dough balls made of pea flour and brimming with flavours of coriander, onion and chilli. They are crisp on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside. You can vary the flavours by adding a variety of different chopped vegetables (like spinach, potato, onion, herbs, red pepper etc).
Click HERE for a recipe!

This is pretty much the flavour of my childhood. Melted butter, icing sugar, cocoa and a squeeze of golden syrup (and/or egg) melted together. Add in crushed Marie biscuits and leave to set; cut into squares.  Served at every school cake sale since 1972. And come on, who doesn’t love a no-bake recipe?
Click HERE for a recipe!

Monkey gland sauce
Kind of like a barbeque sauce, but perhaps even better for marinating your meats. I am not sure if the sauce itself is unique to South Africa, but the name certainly is!

Dom Pedro
Two words: alcoholic milkshake.

SA food Hall of Fame  

Here are some of our more famous foods…

Milk tart





Mrs Balls chutney











bunny chow


pap en sous

Are there any other foods you would add to this list? Let us know what they are by commenting below or emailing us!


9 Peppermint Crisp recipes that will leave you giddy with excitement

You need this list in your life. by: Tessa Purdon | 13 Sep 2017 For many of us Peppermint Crisp is deeply nostalgic. Why? It's probably got a lot to do with Peppermint Crisp tart - a lusciously creamy dessert that's graced the table of countless South Africans.

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