Braai you say, what is it? in the western world it is commonly know as a barbeque. In South Africa it is a an age old tradition and a social gathering for families and friends. South African’s will use any excuse to have a Braai. Our weather is perfect for Braaiing, its an outdoors event and not to be missed when visiting South Africa.
Meat of any variety will be “braaiied”, most common would be boerewors, lamb or mutton chops and steak. Chicken is also a common meat used at Braai, and it can prepared in many different ways, and a personal favourite is Peri-Peri Chicken, which is a spicy portuguese marinaded chicken, and occassionaly can be quite spicey, not for the feint hearted.Boerewors (Afrikaans Farmers Sausage) is a not as you would know traditional sausage to look like, but it appears as a spiral. predominantly stuffed with beef, spices and spek. as seen in the picture.
Pap (maize flour) is also served at a braai, served with ishishebo ( tomatoe onion salsa sauce). Traditionally the men would prepare the meat on the braai, they would all have a beer in hand and gossip about alsorts of topics, with a Rugby match on the TV, and the woman would make salads.
Types of salads that are prepared would be, carrot salad, Potato salad, coleslaw, copper penny salad, 3 bean salad and Beetroot salad etc. Pickles can also be served at a braai, namely pickled onions and gherkins.
Desserts at a braai are not as common, but when there is a dessert a good one to have after the braai is Melktert ( Milktart – custard tart with cinnamon dusted on top) and or Fresh Fruit Salad.
On the coast it is also quite common to have a Fish Braai, where you can have whole fresh fish prepared also served with Salads and garlic bread. Types of fish used for the braai can be Kabeljou, Snoek, basically any fish that is caught fresh. Other options are Crayfish (Rock Lobster) and mussels etc.
Inland you can find other varieties of meats such as Springbok, Ostrich, Kudu, Impala, Warthog and Gemsbok, these would be commonly used as venison. In the Zulu culture and most other African cultures you can find Goat and Beef on the menu, also served with “pap”.
The Afrikaaners have also produced some meat products like Skilpadjies (“tortoises” – and no they are not tortoises, the shape of the product looks like a tortoise – made from Lambs liver wrapped in Caul fat) and Pofadder (“Puff Adder” Snake – and again it isnt a snake but the offal wrapped in intestines casing), Boerewors is also a traditional afrikaans meat product.
So be sure to have a good old traditional braai when visiting South Africa, its a must.