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Cape Town Tours for Foodies: Exploring the Tastes and Flavours of the City

Visitors to South Africa can experience most of the country’s food heritage in Cape Town.

Food of good quality is easy to find and cheap and the “Mother City” is a foodie and wine lover’s dream.

The Western Cape is also known for its amazing wineries. The oldest are at Constantia, which is close to the city centre. A group of wine farms, many of which boast beautiful Cape Dutch farmhouses, offer wine tasting, good food, and views of vineyards on rolling hills.

On Cape Town tours, you need to taste some Cape Malay cuisine.  Cape Malay culture places a very high value on food and their dishes include stews (bredies), curries, pickles (atchars and sambals), savoury snacks and sweet treats like boeber, koesisters, and different kinds of “porrings” (the Cape Malay take on warm puddings).

Cape Malay celebrations like Eid, weddings, engagements, and births are feasts of sharing, where there is enough food to fill everyone’s stomachs and then some to take home. The barakat is a plate of cakes and snacks that couldn’t be eaten at the event. It is given to guests as a way of saying thank you for coming.

Popular Malay dishes include:

Traditional Bobotie – made of ground beef topped with an egg and milk custard.

Koesister – made with cinnamon, cardamom, mixed spices, and aniseed. When they have cooled down from being deep-fried, they are dipped in hot sugar syrup and then rolled in coconut.

Hertzoggie – a traditional shortcrust cookie filled with jam and topped with egg white and coconut, and named after JBM Hertzog, the leader of South Africa from 1924 to 1939, because he promised to give women the right to vote and to treat Malays the same as whites.

Bredies – a stew with meat and vegetables. Cape Malay bredies are different from other stews because the meat is braised, and a chilli or chilli flakes added. It is cooked slowly, and the flavours come together as it cooks. Most people like tomato bredie, cauliflower bredie, and even beans bredie. It is often served with atchars or pickled vegetables.

Bunny Chow – a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry. Folklore has it that it originated during apartheid, when it was against the law for restaurants to serve indentured workers inside, so they would serve them in the back with bread cut out in the middle so that it could hold the curry.

A “gatsby” – a long sandwich with a lot of different fillings, like different kinds of meat and hot chips. At least four hungry people can share one Gatsby, so it’s made to be shared.

Shisanyama – is like a braai or a barbecue, but it comes from the townships of South Africa. Shisanyama is a Zulu word that literally means “burn meat.” The meat is cooked over hot coals. It started out as a way for butchers to sell more meat on the weekends, and now it’s one of the best ways to eat and meet people in South Africa.


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