What are the most popular foods in your country?

Banana pudding from scratch with condensed milk

South Africa is a hodgepodge of cultures and cuisines.

I once heard that the English language followed other languages into an alley and mugged them.

Now if that is true, South African cuisine definitely followed the example and mugged other cultures and made a widely known and very specific range of foods we know now as South African cuisine.

We have a wide variety of dishes and flavours, ranging from curries to stews, spectacular starches and delicious desserts, all representative of the different races and cultures represented in South Africa.

There are Dutch, Malay, Indian, and French influences, with some Australian and American being recently introduced.

Here are some of the most popular, and some of my favourites:,Mieliepap,Mieliepap is a porridge made up of coarse maize flour cooked in water with salt.

It can be made to smooth and runny, or crumbly, depending on the technique used.

It is the staple foods for many people across many of our diverse cultures, as it is cheap and filling.

It can be served with stew (u2018pap en vleisu2019), with tomato relish or sweet with milk, butter and sugar.

I am sure most South African kids have a memory of eating a steaming bowl of mieliepap with loads of sugar and a bit of butter and milk, before going to school.

Mieliepap served with relish is also a staple side dish at most braais (more on that later).

Some people also add some sweetcorn to it, for an extra special version.

This has divided many families and caused some strong-worded discussions around the fire.

,Braaibroodjie,South Africans love a good sandwich or toastie, and especially if you can find a way to make a toastie over an open fire (a braai).

Many different variations exist, from the traditional white bread, Mrs Balls Chutney, Onion, cheese and tomato, to boujie ciabatta, mozzarella, tomato and basil braaibroodjies.

As long as it is a form of bread with cheese and fillings, made on the braai, most South Africans will classify it as a braaibroodjie.

They are gooey, and crispy, and tangy (from the tomato and onion), with a bit of a sweet undertone (from the chutney).

What fillings belong on a braaibroodjie is a very divisive topic, and should best be avoided at the dinner table, much like religion and politics.

Personally, I donu2019t discriminate and even had braaibroodjies as a starter at our wedding.

Its as South African as Table Mountain and saying u201cja neeu201d as a response in any conversation.

,Boerewors roll (also called a boerie roll),A boerewors roll can be smelled kilometres away on most Saturdays, especially if there is a braai, corporate event, church carnival (also known locally as a basaar) or fundraiser happening.

It is a staple food of the Afrikaans South African.

A Boerewors roll combines two of South Africanu2019s favourite things - fire-grilled meat and carbs.

A boerewors is a specific type of sausage made with ground beef, pork and fat, spiced with coriander, fennel, etc.

, and then stuffed into a sausage casing and grilled on a braai.

That succulent, flavourful sausage is then put into a white bread roll (hotdog roll) and slathered with tomato relish.

Caramelized onions optional.

Occasionally the tomato relish will be replaced by good old fashioned mustard and ketchup.

It is forever synonymous with rugby and netball games in my mind.

Boerewors rolls have enjoyed a bit of a revamp in recent years, with many restaurants (and some fancy people) having a new take on this classic.

,Jaffels,A jaffel is a toasted sandwich with a pregnancy belly.

Two slices of buttered bread are placed into a jaffel-pan, filled with fillings of your choosing (traditionally curried mince, but these days anything imaginable can be stuffed into a Jaffel, and honestly, Iu2019m here for it).

The pan is then closed, the corners of bread sticking out are cut off and the steel jaffel pan is then placed onto the stove, gas stove or fire, rotated occasionally and then opened to reveal a UFO version of a toasted sandwich, with the characteristics circle markings burned into the bread.

Jaffels are also basaar food, but also make a damn good lunchbox treat.

,Curry mince jaffelsA jaffel panBraaivleis (also called chesa nyama)Braaivleis is the umbrella term for a selection of meats barbequed over an open charcoal or wood fire (usually boerewors, lamb chops, sosaties, steak or ribs).

A braai is more than some grilled meats though, its a social event, a test of worthiness and a bridge over divides.

Most South Africans are very opinionated on how the fire should be made, what drinks should accompany the event, the music, the side dishes to be served and the time it takes.

When invited to a braai, be prepared to only eat at 10 or 11 pm, as someone almost always lights the fire too late, or misjudged how hot the coals are.

It is a matter of pride and seen as great disrespect if you criticize someones braai skills.

On an average summer Saturday afternoon in almost all suburbs across South Africa, you will smell charcoal fires, followed by the tantalizing and tempting scent of grilling lamb or chicken.

A braai is a way of life and so integral to South African culture - A celebration of coming together and of our lovely weather (although rain rarely stops a braai, it might just change the location and mood of the braaier - the person in charge of the braai),Vetkoek,Vetkoek is essentially a savoury doughnut.

A yeast dough is formed into oval shapes and dropped into hot oil, fried until golden, cut open and filled with curried mince and cheese, or jam and cheese.

Nutella and banana is also a recent favourite.

Its greasy and fluffy and crunchy outside.

There is not much more that can be said, except that it is delicious and I wish I was eating one right now.

,Bunny chow,A bunny chow luckily doesnu2019t involve bunnies, but Iu2019ve never found a likely explanation of how the name came to be.

A white loaf of bread is cut in half and hollowed out.

It is then filled with curry and served with the clouds of bread innards that were just removed.

Sometimes accompanied by raita and a small salad.

Usually enjoyed with a beer.

Bunnychows are symbolic of Durban and are usually way too spicy for the valies (those living inland visiting the coast for holidays).

There is a shop just outside Ballito that sells the best Butter chicken bunnychow I have ever tasted and I still dream about it.

The exact origins of the bunnychow is not known, however.

One origin story of the bunnychow, is that it started as a way to make a travelling lunch for the immigrant sugar plantation workers and quickly became a staple throughout the country.

You have to try one if you ever get the chance, it might change your life.

,Pannekoek,Ahh, pannekoek.

Every grandmother and basaar auntie will tell you her recipe is the best, and obviously keeps it a secret.

Pannekoek is essentially a type of crepe, served with cinnamon sugar, but can also be filled with chicken mayo, curried mince, creamed spinach, or if you are my sister, caramel and banana.

Instead of being folded into quarters like a crepe, a pannekoek is rolled, so that the hot cinnamon sugar can drip onto your hand at the back as you take a bite of the front.

Most South Africans have thus developed a Pannekoek pinkie, which automatically flips the end of the pannekoek upwards, keeping all the sugary goodness inside.

They are traditionally made on rainy days, and to this day, the moment a cloud forms in the sky, mothers across the country whip out their pannekoek pans.

Its a cheap meal to make, as the dough itself is in essence flour, water, an egg and oil.

This also makes it the perfect fundraiser food.

Its quick, easy, and I will lie if I say Iu2019ve never eaten a pack of 8 on my own.

,Cremora tart,Cremora is a brand of powdered milk.

A cremora tart is a mixture of powdered milk, condensed milk and lemon juice, mixed and scooped into a crust made up of crushed Tennis-Biscuits (a particular brand of coconut biscuits) and butter.

Its quick, easy and creamy.

Making this tart from seemingly nothing, was what initially impressed my now mother-in-law.

Its a staple and goes great with a cup of rooibos tea.

It is almost cheesecake-like in texture and taste,Malva pudding,I could write books about my love for this dessert.

I have a recipe from the u201950s that makes my malva pudding stand out above many others, and I am very proud of that.

A Malva pudding is a baked caramel-type pudding, made with flour, butter, apricot jam, vinegar, baking soda and baking powder.

As soon as it comes out of the oven, it is doused with evaporated milk, or a milk/butter/sugar mixture.

The malva pudding then absorbs all that liquid and is served with vanilla ice cream and custard.

It is so gooey and you will find some attempt at it on most restaurant menus.

Its South Africau2019s version of sticky toffee pudding.

,Hertzoggies,A traditional Afrikaner tartlet, made in celebration of some General, and still enjoyed today.

An apricot jam mixture is scooped into a tart base and then covered in a coconut topping, before being baked.

Its a bit dry, but is perfect as an accompaniment to an afternoon tea.

This is a bit of a polarizing treat, but I am totally in favour of it (hence it making it onto the list),Don Pedro,I was always so envious as a kid when my parents had this after-meal milkshake that I was not allowed to taste.

A Don Pedro is a vanilla milkshake with Amaula or Kahlua, served with some grated chocolate.

Its decadent and naughty and very South African.

,Peppermint crisp tart,Another very South African creation.

A Peppermint crisp bar is a thin chocolate bar filled with a crispy mint brittle-like inner.

It has a very characteristic green colour inside.

This tart is made up of layers of Tennis-biscuits, whipped cream flavoured with cooked condensed milk, and topped with chunks of Peppermint Crisp.

This is probably my husbandu2019s favourite dessert and he asks for it every birthday.

Its quick, easy and delicious.

The number of layers is debatable, however.

,Thatu2019s all I could think of for now.

I will add more as they come to me.

Hope you enjoyed this list!,u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014,Edit- Iu2019ve decided to add a few more to the list:Roosterkoek,Roosterkoek is a type of bread roll that is made on the fire (the braai) and is served with either meat and relish, or with apricot jam and cheese.

It has to have some slightly burnt spots, as well as the characteristic braai grill pattern on it.

My most vivid memory of a roosterkoek is at the legendary Oppikoppi music festival (at Kobus se gat - if you know, you know) in 2011.

That warm, fresh-off-the-fire, crispy and smokey roosterkoek, served with jam and cheese, after 3 days of dust and music, is as close as Iu2019ve ever come to Euphoria.

Roosterkoek is a bit trickier to make, as the dough has to be the perfect consistency, or it wonu2019t work.

Many stores now sell premixes that make it a bit easier (I am a purist - I believe in making it from scratch).

,Roosterkoek dough can also be taken and shaped around a cleaned and oiled stick and made over the fire, resulting in a hollow tube of bread, that can be stuffed with whatever you want, almost like a cone.

Its called stokbrood (literally stick bread).

This is the good stuff.

This reminds me of summer evenings camping in the Kruger National park, eaten with steak fresh off the braai.

,Paptert,Paptert is the beautiful creation made from leftover mieliepap, cheese and fried onions.

This is also one of those dishes that South Africans love to debate about, but honestly, it can be filled with whatever you want, similar to a lasagne, with the mieliepap as the pasta layers.

My personal favourite is filled with mushrooms, onions, sweetcorn, a bit of a cheese sauce, some relish and loads of cheese on top, and then baked until the cheese on top is golden brown and crispy.

I guess you can think of it like a mieliepap casserole.

,Melkkos,Melkkos is a winter staple.

Its a creamy milk mixture that is cooked on the stovetop with some flour dumplings and a cinnamon stick and then served with cinnamon sugar on top.

I donu2019t know how we can serve this as dinner, but we do and it is great.

Its filling and warming and moreish.

This is one of those rare dishes that people donu2019t complain or fight about.

You sit down and you appreciate its creamy deliciousness.

,Biltong and droeu00ebwors,Now I personally donu2019t like biltong and droeu00ebwors that much, but no South African cuisine list would be complete without mentioning them.

Droeu00ebwors is essentially the same as boerewors, but is hung up to dry instead of being braaiu2019d.

It has characteristic fat pieces within the droeu00ebwors.

Biltong is pieces of salted and dried meat (typically beef, but also commonly made from wild game, such as Kudu, Eland and impala).

Biltong and droeu00ebwors were created as a way for the boere to preserve meat for consumption during long trips.

Its salty and a bit fatty.

Most South Africans go crazy for this stuff, and its a point of pride to have a big bag of biltong and droeu00ebwors.

,Mosbolletjies,Another starch, surprise! Mosbolletjies is a type of white bread, baked in the oven and can be served fresh, or dried and enjoyed as rusks.

Warm mosbolletjies out of the oven is as comforting as a motheru2019s embrace and I think I might just have to bake some this weekend.

They commonly have raisins in and the tops are painted with a sugar and milk mixture, to give it a very beautiful sticky shine.

,Lepelsteeltjies,This is my childhood snack right here and is generally hated throughout much of the population.

You start with a biscuit type dough with some finely grated cheese in.

Roll them into balls and place them on a baking tray.

Take the back of a wooden spoon and press a small indent into the ball.

Fill that indent with apricot jam and bake.

Its a kinda dry, kinda savoury cookie with the sweet and sticky jam inner.

My mom would make them especially for me, as everyone in our household loathed them, and honestly, more for me :),Biltong wielietjies / biltong koekies/ biltong happies,In the process of carving biltong, a fine biltong powder (same consistency as breadcrumbs) is generated.

South Africans, being as ingenious as we are, found ways of making this powder into an ingredient in its own right.

In comes the snack you will see on every platter at every function and every funeral.

Its the one snack that there can never be enough of.

A salticrax (a savoury type of cracker) is taken and covered in butter or cream cheese and attached to another salticrax, to make a slippery type of sandwich.

This whole thing is then coated in butter or cream cheese and then rolled in biltong powder.

If you catch them fresh, the salticrax are still a little crunchy.

Even if you eat them at the end of the function when they have gone a bit soft, they are still good.

Note, they are sometimes square and sometimes made with bread.

The rules are a bit vague, as long as they are rolled in biltong powder.

,Some honourable snack mentions:,Creme soda - the taste of a kiddies party.

A very green and very delicious soda.

I am still of the opinion that a creme soda is the best hangover cure,Zoo biscuits,Crunchy shortbread-like cookie with a crunchy icing top, with the iconic white icing animals.

These will always be a hit at any get-together,Fizzers,A very sticky type of taffy, that has a type of tartness or fizziness on your tongue.

They come packaged in a white paper that always gets stuck on the end and tears off in little pieces.

I wonder how many of those rips of paper Iu2019ve eaten over the years,Wilson Toffies,The ultimate test of South African Dentistry - a very very hard and sticky toffee in a variety of flavours, with buttermilk being far superior.

,Ouma Beskuit,The most nostalgic packaging.

Beskuit is also called rusks and is the perfect anytime snack (or usually breakfast) with a cup of moerkoffie or boeretroos (strongly brewed coffee, usually served with condensed milk).

Bonus points if you eat the Condensed milk flavoured Ouma beskuit, dunked into a cup of moerkoffie with condensed milk.

,Yogisip,A type of yoghurt drink that got me through high school.

The perfect on-the-go snack.

(shame on anyone who chooses the apricot flavour though - banana or vanilla all the way.

Granadilla in a pinch),I do encourage you to try and make the recipes for some of those foods I mentioned.

I also have some more recipes I will post in the future.

,Enjoy xx,Sources:Krummelpap Recipe - Putu Pap | SA-Austin.

comBraaibroodjies - Food24https://www.

rhodesquality.

com/recipes/boerewors-rolls/Jaffels - aninas recipes10 Reasons Why South African Braais Are Better Than BBQsVetkoek - Recipes - SnowflakeBunny Chow and Its Durban CurryBunny Chow Turns Curry Into a Mobile Snack.

,Resep: Pannekoek | Maroela MediaCremora Fridge TartSouth African Malva Pudding Recipe easy with custard or ice creamA South African Favourite: How to make Heavenly HertzoggiesPeppermint Crisp tart - Food24Melkkos (Milk food)Paptert recipe | All4Women FoodRoosterkoek - Food24What is Droewors? The Experts at St Marcus Fine Foods Explains.

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