World Cuisine - South Africa
South African history is very rich and complex, yet has kept its identity quite opaque for many years. Especially in the United States, we don’t come across South African culture and cuisine easily, not because it’s not amazing, but because of lack of information until very recently. If you are interested in a unique perspective into South African history, here is an incredible documentary, one of my favorite movies and multiple award winner, called “Searching for Sugarman” about a talented American musician that became famous in South Africa, without ever having been to that country.
This lead me to look further into South African cuisine, which must also be rich in flavor and diversity, like its history and peoples.
We will focus on one particular dish called “Bobotie” today. Bobotie is a national dish of South Africa consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. It is thought to have originated from the Indonesian dish bobotok, which consisted of meat with a custard topping that was cooked in a pan of water until the egg mixture set. Colonists from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia probably introduced bobotie to South Africa. The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609. Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community. It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight "tang”. It looks and sounds absolutely delicious!
This article on CNN.com goes into the food history of South Africa, also called “rainbow nation” due to the diverse demographics of its people. It includes a traditional recipe of Bobotie from the writer’s mother who is from Cape Town.
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