The 14 South African taste explosions you’ll find nowhere else on earth
1. Walkie talkies
Walk the talk
Tempt your tastebuds with deep fried chicken heads and feet accompanied by pap (maize flour porridge). Boiled to remove the hair and nails, this tasty snack can be found at any food vendor in a typical South African township and can be braaied to ensure the ultimate crunchy texture.
2. Hurry to Durban for a curry
Fire extinguisher may be needed
If you love the taste of chili and your mouth on fire with flames coming out of your ears, a Durban curry is just for you. Each recipe is different and passed down from generation to generation, but the deep red colour is indicative of how potent the spice level is. Must tries are the fish, prawn, lamb and beef curry served with poppadoms, sambal, banana and for the veggie, there are delectable dhal curries – simply delicious.
3. Don’t eat like a rabbit
Chow on down
Get your teeth into this scrumptious fast-food favourite, consisting of a loaf of hollowed out white bread brimming with your choice of aromatic curry. Popular in Durban, this unique dish was established in the 1940s, when labourers transported their veggie curries to work, and a loaf of bread proved to be the ideal lunchbox.
4. Real men only braai
Sometimes rare, but always well done
You know you are a true South African when a braai is the ultimate day out with friends, date night, boy’s night, girl’s night, any night. With tongs in the one hand and a beer in the other, this is the epitome of a real man’s man in South Africa. Relish lamb chops, pork chops, boerewors, sosaties, steak, ribbetjies and roosterkoek, traditional bread cooked over the coals with different tasty fillings.
5. Fancy a koek my sister?
Sweets for my sweet
Delight in the sweet treats of koeksisters and melktert, iconic, traditional desserts in South Africa. A koeksister infused in syrup or honey is a twisted fried dough that makes your tastebuds sing and a melktert, originally baked by the Dutch settlers is a custard tart encased in a sweet pastry crust sprinkled with cinnamon.
6. The ultimate dunk
We love granny
Plunge a scrumptious Ouma rusk in your cup of tea or coffee and relish the taste of a traditional buttermilk biscuit. Chunky and tasty with various flavours, this is the perfect accompaniment to any hot drink.
7. Have chutney, just add meal
Make it a saucy meal
The ideal pairing with curry, stew, bobotie, chilli con carne and an array of other dishes, Mrs Balls Chutney comes in a variety of fruity flavours. Do you like it hot, extra hot, peachy or are you simply after the original? This well-loved condiment goes back a century and is the ultimate relish to add to any meal.
8. A pot full of kos
Tuck into a potjiekos, usually prepared outside over coals for two to three hours in a cast iron three-legged pot. A tasty multi-layered dish consisting of meat, vegetables, potatoes and sauce, this is a mouth-watering, hearty meal that is welcomed in winter and warms the soul as well as the belly.
9. Mince it up
Save some for Bob
A traditional South African dish of curried minced meat, fruit and a golden egg topping, bobotie is hearty, wholesome and comforting. A variety of flavours such as salt, chutney, jam, Worcester sauce, raisins, turmeric and vinegar are mixed together to create this fragrant dish. Often served on Heritage Day, this delicious, sweet Cape Malay meal is a crowd-pleaser. Serve with rice, coconut, nuts and bananas.
10. It’s great to meat you
Easily one of the most well-loved and desired snacks in South Africa, biltong and dry wors is simply delicious. Packed in many a suitcase for family and friends living abroad, biltong is dried, cured meat and dry wors is a sausage. While this may not sound appealing, it is absolutely addictive and once tasted, is never forgotten.
11. Please can I have some more?
We’re mal for Malva
Fancy some pudding? Malva is sweet, syrupy and delicious, filled with apricot jam and a caramelised crust. It hits the spot over winter months when topped with creamy custard or ice-cream.
12. What a laka pap
Find comfort here
A delicious, hearty traditional meal, fill your belly with chakalaka, a spicy relish made of tomatoes, beans and onions topping pap, a fluffy white maize meal, similar to porridge. Incredibly popular, this staple dish is often served with boerewors and stew.
13. Do you have worms?
How can you possibly resist eating a pretty caterpillar with spikes on its back? Sounds like Alice in Wonderland? It’s mopane worms, full of nutrients, high in protein and can be served several ways. For a quick snack-on-the-go, enjoy them dry and crunchy or take the time to savour them by soaking and cooking them in a tasty gravy. Mrs Balls Chutney or chakalaka anyone?
14. To try or not to try – that is the question
It’s nice? You’re talking tripe
If you are in the mood for a different meal, you simply must try mala mogodu, a tasty traditional dish made of stewed tripe (mala) and stomach lining (mogodu). Not for the faint hearted, this delicacy has a rich aroma and has been passed down from generations. Served with dumplings, hot pap or fried onions, it’s certainly an acquired taste.