Marcy and I finally had someone take a picture of both of us and looking at the suddenly pudgy version of myself, I am reminded to comment on the food here. A disclaimer to any native South African reading this post is that certainly, I am looking through a VERY narrow window here. You are welcome to comment…
I researched South African food before we left and I wondered if it would be to our taste. Friends who had been to South Africa said the food was great and now that we are two weeks into our trip, I fully concur. As of this writing, the exchange rate and general prices made this a very economical place to dine. (You just had to get here).
What follows are some brief observations about dishes I remember.
The cappuccino index – Marcy and I both have fallen prey to the dark evils of caffeinated beverages, so we might be inclined to judge a place by its coffee. You would think that the Italians would get the nod for best cappuccino, but my vote now goes to the South Africans. I don’t know if it is the coffee they use or the skills of the baristas here, but the coffee drinks have been great. A takeaway cappuccino will set you back about 24.00 Rand – that is about $1.50 US.
Beef – If you are a meat lover, I consider the beef here to be great. I think I mentioned in a post somewhere that we ate at the Cape Town Hotel restaurant one night. Getting a filet mignon is usually cost prohibitive in a hotel, but it was just $43.00 for both of us with starters and wonderful, tender main courses.
Seafood – Plentiful and delicious, including their Britsh-style fish and chips. However, I think we paid about par for what we would in the US.
Bobotie – This is an Afrikaans dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. We had a chance to enjoy that a couple of times.
Butternut squash soup – We found Butternut squash on the menu and featured on buffets. It is not something I would usually like, but the butternut squash soup here was absolutely great.
The rusk – Rusks are a tea-time favorite here and are essentially huge dry croutons or something like twice-baked bread. We had these with coffee one morning before our Kruger Park game drive, and I would judge them as not to my taste.
Pap – I tried pap, also known as mieliepap, which is described as a maize porridge. I just considered pap to be South Africa corn grits – I give pap two thumbs up. The pap I had was pretty well congealed and was served with a nice salsa, reminiscent of bolognese sauce.
KFC – Finally, THE signature dish of South Africa is Kentucky Fried Chicken. Our tour guide said the people here absolutely love the Colonel. It is completely amazing. No matter how remote, or poor the area, you will find a KFC. The pictures below are from Swaziland – now known as Eswatini. The people live in abject remote Africa third-world poverty, but nevertheless, from high above the city, the iconic billboard you see below beckons, complete with a Swazi warrior shield emblazoned on the chicken bucket. (Sorry for the out the bus windows shots, but I just had to capture this.
I suppose this picture inspires me to get back into my running routine …
The Colonel in Swaziland