Street food is an integral part of travelling – if you’re going to only eat in hotels, fast food chain outlets and regular restaurants you may as well stay home. When you ‘man up’ and get over your fear of street food bugs, you’ll find that you get a genuine taste of the culture of the country you’re visiting by indulging in some sidewalk snacking.
South Africa is known as a melting pot of cultures and this is clearly experienced in our diverse street foods on offer.
Traditionally a Cape Town speciality, Gatsbys are especially popular across the Cape Flats and most of the take away outlets that sell them are Halaal. Basically a Gatsbyconsists of a baguette stuffed with hot chips, meat such as masala steak or polony, and a hot sauce or pickle such as atchar.
Grin and bear it! This may sound rather gruesome but it’s an integral part of township food – a sheep’s head, charred on the braai and sold with a litre of Coca-Cola and half a loaf of bread – this can easily feed up to 4 hungry friends. Brains and eyeballs are particularly tasty, according to those in the know. The name comes from the grizzly grin of death the head sports once the lips have been burned off, revealing a set of teeth.
3.The Boerie Roll
Sold everywhere, from outside hardware stores and shopping centres on a Saturday mornings to school fetes and church bazaars, the boerewors roll aka boerie roll is possibly the best-known South African street food across all cultures. Simply a juicy piece of spicy sausage served on a bread roll with your choice of tomato and onion mix (‘train smash’) tomato sauce, mustard or all three.
South Africa, especially Cape Town, has a large Muslim community and the Malay influence can be tasted in many of the traditional foods on sale around the country. A zesty mixture of meat and vegetables (sometimes just veggies) in a folded, triangular pastry case, the samoosa is a cheap and delicious snack for those on the run who just want a bite to eat.
5.The Bunny Chow
Durban is the centre of the bunny chow, as this filling street food meal was born out of the Indian community that calls this coastal KZN city home. A half loaf of white bread is hollowed out and filled with hot, steaming curry – and there you have a meal fit for a Rajah!