Meat used to be abundant in Africa. The men and children worked hard so cholesterol was not really a factor.
A traditional meal would be meat, rice, potatoes and 2 vegetables.

In the coastal areas it would be mainly fish or chicken. Where there were cattle farming it would usually be lamb. On game farms or when they were on trek mainly venison. Wors were also made. The people also enjoyed biltong.

Fish were baked or used in a casserole. Fishcakes or Fishbobotie or Fishpies were made and a lot of fish were canned with or without curry.

Fish were packed in salt and then dried. These were called bokkoms.

Spices used to prepare fish dishes were currypowder, salt, corriander, chilly, onions, ginger, garlic, pepper, tumeric, lemon.

On cattlefarms everything of the animal was used. Offal were a delicatessen for some. Cold ox tongue, steaks, oxtailsoup, etc. Leg of lamb was roasted on  Sundays.

The meat was mainly minced and wors was made. Pies, frikadelle (meatballs) and meatloaf were popular.

Casseroles were made when they had a permanent house and potjiekos while on trek. They had only the one pot and everything was cooked in it at the same time.

When pigs were available it was used as other meat but the skin was minced and fried in a pot over slow heat. The fat fried out and the kaiings was left over. This was a delicatessen and used over mealieporridge (pap)  or as a smear with butter on bread.

If you want more information or a recipe please ask because the subject is so vast.


For a deep study of the history of food in SA I want to recommend the book of H.W. Classens. Die geskiedenis van Boerekos. The publisher is Protea Boekehuis. Pta 2006. It is a short version of a thesis for a D Phil degree at the university of Pretoria.

We are on the subject of meat and have discussed Biltong.
Another treat is Boerewors on an open fire. Barbeque is different than a Braai. A Braai in SA is a man thing with Castle Lager in the hand. A braai will be before or after a rugby match.

Coming back to Boerewors. The Persians 500 BC already made a type of sausage. But it could never have tasted like Boerewors and everybody believes that they have the secret recipe.  National competitions are held yearly to find the best Boerewors.

And then the Braai of the wors. First they make a  fire with the best wood. (Also a man secret). Then the gathering of men with beer in the hand staring in this fire.

When the fire is nearly ready the discussion about the heat is started. Hands are held over the fire. Usually it is decided it is still too hot and then they wait and stare again. As soon as the leader decides the fire is ready there is a call for the wors to be brought to the fire while everybody still stares. The wors is placed on the fire the way the leader preferred. Every man has a very specific way of putting meat on the fire.  Now for the next stage.

This is also a very important ritual.  Only the leader has tongs. The other form a closed circle around the fire and stare. Every now and then the leader will poke the wors or move it slightly around. It will be turned once and a piece will be lifted from the fire and with great concentration tasted for readiness. As soon it is ready a call will go out for a container.

Everyone gather round and eat this great South African dish.