South Africa’s food melting pot

A South African meal commemorates the nation's rich social and cultural ancestry, along with benefitting from the natural bounty of fish and shellfish, game and edible plants. All these delicious South African foods need to be washed down with something. South African wine has actually been receiving rave reviews in the last 20 years since re-admission to the global wine market.

South African citizens are truly blessed. The Republic of SA has a very lengthy and diverse shoreline providing the population with an amazing quantity of fish and shellfish; with its very fertile soil and fantastic climate, combining to generate a massive variety of agricultural products. Our multi-cultural past has given us a population with that very diverse culture feeling that can only be described as a rainbow nation feeling.

While you visiting South African you will obviously discover an array of dining establishments and bistros offering anything from sushi to burgers, but for this article let us concentrate on African specialties.

Our fish and shellfish are legendary and sold worldwide at exorbitant prices. It is best tried out at one of many Western Cape - outdoor restaurants - which is very little more than a shanty shelter on a beach. Here fish stew, mussels, smoked fish on the coals and traditional South African lobster can be eaten. You may also be offered pickled fish - a well-liked meal which you will sometimes find at some of the many typical Cape Malay dining establishments in Cape Town.

Various other Cape-Malay specialties including spicy-fruity curries that are normally not too overpowering, smoorsnoek (similar to the kedgeree fish), koeksister (a very sweet, syrupy surprise), bobotie, and some other Indian specialties, such as samosas and rotis, with a regional twist can be found at these dining estrablisments.

South African cuisine is really multicultural, and no place is it more noticeable than at a common typical South African braai or barbeque for our American readers. Now the traditional braai are thought to be the sole-domain of the Afrikaner guy, however it may not be so straightforward.

Yes, there is a remarkable quantity of meat on the braai, most notably the famous Afrikaner boerewors (fat and spicy sausage), but you will also find sosaties. The sosatie can only be described as a curried meat kebab, almost like an Indonesian satay, which was brought to South African by the Malay people centuries ago.

And obviously, no South African braai is complete without some sous and pap, which is the staple diet regimen of most men and women in Africa. Pap is like a maize porridge formula but much stiffer than normal porridge. It normally comes with a relish which is called sous, it consist of veggies - generally onion and tomato and other herbs.

You should be able to get the chance to try out these foods at one of many African social or cultural events or maybe at one of many African dining establishments which are spread across the country.

And, naturally, all these foods have to be washed down with something. South Africans are ale and draft beer drinkers, and no traditional South African braai is ever complete without the magical brown fluid. For first time visitors it is worth trying out the thick, low-alcohol, nourishing African beer, from using sorghum and maize. However absolutely nothing can beat a great wine from the Cape region - a remarkable wine-growing area for over 300 years.