We all enjoy eating, and the best way of knowing a culture is through its gastronomy. South African food is delicious, and the country’s cultural riches bring influences from other cultures, the British for instance. In Meraki Bay, we’re going to share with you a list of the typical South African dishes we like the most. Trust us, we’ve tried (almost) everything and they’re all delicious!
10 typical South African dishes
- Biltong: This is one of the most typical South African snacks. They’re basically dry meat slices prepared with beef. It is served as an appetizer, and even though in Meraki Bay we try to have it as a substitute for Iberian ham, it’s nothing like it!
- Bobotie: It’s a kind of stew cooked with meat, eggs, ginger and lemon, some people also add onions, or curry. Once it’s ready it has to be baked, then it can be served with rice, plantain or nuts, it’s delicious!
- Boerewors: These are sausages normally prepared with chopped veal, although sometimes it’s also combined with pork and lamb. It can be mixed with different types of spices, like coriander. Once done, it’s stuffed into a sausage shape.
- Sosaties: Skewers prepared with marinated lamb meat and sauce as its name indicates (sate- meat skewers- and saus- sauce-). The marinade is made of onions, garlic, chili, tamarind juice and curry leaves, and once ready are then grilled.
- Braai: It means “roast”, or “barbecue” in Afrikaans and it’s much more than a simple dish, it’s definitely one of the most fun South African customs and traditions! It can be made with both meat and fish. Everybody gathers with their friends and loved ones to prepare it. Meraki Bay’s members and volunteers recently had the chance to have a taste at Mama Seafood & Grill (27 Harbour Rd, Hout Bay, Cape Town), a restaurant we collaborate with, it is exquisite!
- Frikadelle: They’re like the typical meatballs, but instead of doing them only with meat, fish is also an option, you definitely have to try them as soon as you get there!
- Vetkoek: It’s a pie prepared with fried dough which can be sweet or salty. In any case, it is served hot and it’s delicious.
- Bunny Chow: It’s the closest thing to a fast-food dish. This stewed rabbit meat filled sandwich can be found in pretty much in any market. If you are one who enjoys a good burger, you must try it!
- Mashonzha: Its uniqueness resides in its secret ingredient, worms! If you are one who dares to try anything and wants to have a taste, it won’t be hard to find it since it has become very popular among tourists.
- Koeksuster: It’s one of the most delicious sweets in South African culture, it’s a fried dough covered in sugar syrup in the shape of a braid. As soon as you try it you won’t stop devouring it!
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Typical South African beverages
- Amarula: If you like different kinds of alcoholic drinks, you can’t leave South Africa without trying this one! It’s made out of sugar, cream and fermented marula. The marula used comes straight from the tree (marula tree). It has a fruity taste.
- South African wine: South Africa is one of the countries with the largest wine production, so it’s served in every restaurant. If you want to find one that suits you better, tell the waiter or waitress and you’ll see what great advice you get!
- Rooibos: This red tea is extracted from a South African shrub and it’s really healthy.
Now that you already know about the typical South African food and beverages, what are you waiting for? If this is going to be your next stop, get ready because you’re going to pig out!