Go On A Food Safari - The Many Tastes Of South Africa

Did you know that the cuisine of South African is often called a “Rainbow Cuisine?” This is because it has such a wide range of sources from different cultures. South African food is influenced by the traditional meals of the indigenous people of Africa, including the Nguni and Sotho speaking peoples as well as the cuisine of the many different waves of immigrants who came to Africa including Germans, French, Dutch, Asian-Indonesian and British. All of these influences have mixed together to create a very diverse combination of delicious and exciting foods.

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Go On A Food Safari - The Many Tastes Of South Africa
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South African Dishes – Go On and Give Them a Try
What are some of the traditional dishes that you might find when visiting South Africa? There are too many delicious South African foods to include in one blog post, but here are some examples of the typical food that you will find in this fascinating country.


This salty and seasoned dried meat is a favourite snack in South Africa. The meat used to make it is often game meat, such as a type of antelope or deer. Sometimes beef can be used to make it, or even ostrich fillet. The meat is cut in long strips that follow the grain of the muscle and then it is spiced and dried. It is similar to beef jerky, but biltong usually has a thicker cut and it does not have a sweet taste.

It is thought that the modern-day Biltong we know and love evolved from the dried meat that would have been eaten by the Voortrekkers when they were travelling by wagon across the interior of Southern Africa when migrating from the Cape Colony. The meat was perfect for taking with them, as it was preserved from decay and insects because it was dried and salted.
These days, it goes down a treat on a hot South African day with a cold glass of beer.


This South African dish actually comes from Malay descent and it is similar to a meat loaf with rasins and a baked egg on the top. This interesting combination might sound odd, but it is actually quite delicious so don’t be afraid to give it a try. Bobotie is often served with coconut, sambal, yellow rice, chutney and banana slices.


If you ever visit Cape Town, you will find out about the succulent Gatsby. It is the perfect sandwich to fill you up when you are really hungry and craving something substantial. It is a long roll of bread that is cut lengthwise and then stuffed with juicy fillings such as masala steak, hot chips, Vienna sausage, fish or even chargrilled steak.

The origin story of this sandwich is interesting. It originated around the Cape Flats area, where people would buy the cheap large rolls of bread and then fill with any leftovers they could find. This budget meal has evolved into a truly fantastic Cape Town sandwich that is not to be missed.


This is a very traditional South African beverage that is made of fermented mealie pap. What in the world is mealie pap? It is a traditional type of porridge made from ground corn and it is a staple food eaten by the Bantu inhabitants who live in South Africa. The porridge itself is eaten in many different ways, including with green vegetables or with chilli. As the drink Mageu is made from the porridge after it has fermented, it has an interesting taste similar to yogurt. Go ahead and give it a try!
These are just a few of the tasty foods that South Africa has to offer, there are so many more to discover and enjoy.

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Jasmin Blunt
About the Author:

Jasmin Blunt is a freelance writer who visited South Africa last year and fell in love with the food. She found a local biltong wholesaler in the UK so that she could indulge her cravings when she got back home.

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