South African cuisine; and by South African, I am writing purely about the country of South Africa as opposed to the collective area of Southern Africa; is probably the most diverse, yet cosmopolitan of all of Africa’s cuisines. This owes to South Africa being the most multicultural of countries in Africa, attributable to its history of the trade of goods and labour, colonialism, migration and exploration.
Most people would have the basic knowledge that South Africa was colonised by the Dutch, however prior to the arrival of Europeans, the original inhabitants of Southern and South Africa, the Khoisan, were colonised by Bantu speakers who are thought to have migrated from West Africa, via Central and East Africa, expanding
Food Culture and History
Home to the rainbow nation, South African cuisine alone is world renowned and the country boasts of countless internationally acclaimed chefs who work both in South Africa and abroad. South Africa owes its diversity in food to influences from the Portuguese, German, French, Dutch, British, Indian and Indonesian, (Cape Malays) and Bantu (Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana and Sotho) people.
Any foodie looking for a single destination in South Africa would most probably head towards Cape Town. Along with its history with Dutch and Malay influences, Cape Town is an incredible melting pot, with the meshing of so many cultures into one. It is the home of South Africa’s national dish, bobotie.
But what is also emerging in Cape Town today is a vibrant food truck and street food culture where one can purchase anything from gourmet burgers to pizzas, boerwors rolls, curries, crepes, Asian food, braai meat and even seafood. Cape Town also wins as a top food destination due to its close proximity to South Africa’s wine country, with Stellenbosch as the epicentre of South Africa’s wine industry.
But to highlight only Cape Town as a South African foodie destination would be a crime as you would miss out on undoubtedly the best curries in the world, which can be found in Durban.
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