BBQ Versus the Mighty ‘Braai’

If you ever choose to visit South Africa, you may get invited to attend a braai. Don’t panic, as this is merely the local variant of a good old fashioned BBQ, with a few subtle differences. Take notes from here on and you’ll go a long way to impressing a few locals with your knowledge of what can only be described as one of the cornerstones of South African male tradition.

Mention the word ‘BBQ’ when you attend such an event and you might very quickly become the centre of some unwanted attention. This attention can range from a subtle correction in your use of vocab and an explanation as to why a braai is not a ‘BBQ’; a bit of wors flung in your general direction accompanied by an exclamation of the word ‘Pommie’ (more on the ‘wors’ later), or a good firm Boer hand klap around the back of the head. I speak from experience. Continue reading

Land of Meat and Lovers Thereof

Friends for overseas always ask me, ‘what is traditional South African cuisine?’ and whilst a standard ‘traditional’ list of foods exists, under which stuff like Bobotie falls, I more often than not reply ‘meat’. South Africa is a definite contender for the meat capital of the world!

My response is by no means a fib, as one thing which South Africa does better than anywhere else I have ever been is meat; both in terms of quality and the amount. You can literally walk into a Woolworths (the equivalent of say Marks and Spencer in the UK) and pick up a very decent half beef fillet of say 900 grams, which can easily feed 4 people (and some) and pay in the region of about £15.

This value for money is echoed when you come to dining out. Kream, one of the top fine dining restaurants in the Pretoria area (Brooklyn) serves a fillet camembert (approximately 300 grams) for R129 (at the time of writing). In my mind this is incredible! Actually, let’s say mind blowing, considering the reputation of the restaurant! My friends who have visited from the UK, also chuckle slightly and shake their heads when it comes to settling the bill. Continue reading