Food & Drink

South Africa´s many nationalities and cultures are reflected in its cuisine. While meat and chicken form the basis of many dishes, a wide variety of seafood is available at affordable prices. Regional specialties include Cape Malay dishes such as bobotie (minced meat topped with baked eggs), sosaties (spicy kebabs), smoorvis (a fish kedgeree) and breyani (lamb or chicken with baked rice or lentils) and, in KwaZulu-Natal, hot and spicy curries and delicacies such as samoosas, deep-fried doughy triangles filled with meat or vegetables, and roti, a flat bread.

Traditional Afrikaner food includes bredie (a meat stew), potjiekos (a slowly-cooked meat and vegetable stew), boerewors (spiced sausage), biltong (strips of dried meat), melktert (milk tart) and koeksisters (sweet, plaited dough). Putu, a stiff, dry corn meal, is a staple of African diets, together with amasi, a sour milk.

Weekend fare for South Africans of all races is the outdoor braaivleis (barbecue) consisting of chops, sosaties, chicken, boerewors and putu.

Wine made from imported grape varieties such as chenin blanc, chardonnay, merlot and shiraz has been made in the Western Cape for three centuries. Two local specialities are Muscat d´alexandrie (made from hanepoot) a sweet dessert wine, and pinotage, a uniquely South African cultivar developed from pinot noir and cinsaut (hermitage) grapes.

South Africans are prolific beer drinkers, especially when eating outdoors or watching sport. Maheu, a sorghum-based beer, is widely drunk in shebeens and beer halls.

Source: South Africa at a glance