Thursday, July 3, 2014

The unique flavours of South African food

Take delight in the exciting selection of delicious food throughout South Africa, from the delightfully unique flavours of South Africa's rainbow food to extraordinary culinary specialties from across the globe.  South African cuisine scene offers an exciting selection of delicious recipes for you to choose from.

Everything comes together in a mixture of enticing European food, the spicy curries from India, the sweet and sour tastes of the Malay's together with the indigenous food preparation style of African men and women.  As a result of its complicated variety it is sometimes a challenge to recognize and identify true traditional South African cuisine.

One may actually claim that the diverse food combinations with its exotic elements have made South African food what it is today.

The South African-Malay Combo

The Dutch food preparation custom and style in the very early days of South Africa were transformed permanently with the arrival of slaves to the Cape colony from the Far East.  Malay servants came to the Cape at the end of the 17th century. Amongst the men were experienced anglers and fishermen, and the females were skilled cooks that added a wide variety of flavours and spices to the dishes they prepared for their masters at the time.

They introduced spices and flavours like star fennel, aniseed, turmeric extract, cardamom, ginger and list of other spices that was not freely available in the Cape colony at that time.

Malayan cooks introduced an assortment of massalas, combinations and blends of various flavours which they used making various food types. The slaves even brought along saltpetre which was a wonder substance if you wanted to pickle something like fish or meat. These herbs were very common in the Indonesian cooking culture.

The intermixing and intermingling of the very early Dutch and Malay cookery is recognized today as the so called "Cape Dutch food or cuisine”, an aromatic style of food preparation which is very distinct to South Africa.

The Portuguese and South African combination

Due to the closeness of previous Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique next to the Republic of South Africa, Portuguese food had a significant effect on South African cuisine and cooking style, primarily with the use of spicy hot chilli-based peri-peri spices along with onions, garlic, fresh coriander, bay leaves, paprika and delicious sweet peppers. All of these spices goes exceptionally well with a traditional South African "braai" (barbecues). Barbequed-Smoked peri-peri chicken and a traditional braai has ended up as a national past time. 

Portuguese prego rolls, giblets and fish, chicken livers, chourico and shellfish are readied as only the Portuguese are able to do.

Portuguese-South African food preparation is especially recognized for its mouth-watering fish and shellfish meals, using sea life like kabeljou, calamari, crayfish, prawns, cod among others, prepared in a wide range of ways.

Spectacular Fish Braai

From the Namibian border on the west side to the Mozambique boundary on the east side, South Africa’s shoreline is abundant in various fish and shellfish such as snoek also known as sea pike, kingklip, deep sea hake, red roman and pilchards to name just a few. Various other special shellfish from the sea include abalone, mussels, oysters, shrimps and a spiny rock lobster crayfish called "kreef" in South Africa. The "braai" or barbeque for our UK and US readers is the preferred way of preparing a fish.

South Africa men and women on the western coastline are known for their love and fondness for crayfish and traditional snoek. They are normally particularly skilled at barbecuing fish over an open fire which is called a "braai".  In seaside locations fresh line fish has always been known as a good menu choice if you enjoy fish.