SPEKKO’S ODE TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN BRAAI
A braai is a mysterious, age old ritual which gives confidence to any man with a pair of tongs in his hand.
Shrouded in smoke, this outdoor cooking ritual is set to bring forth happiness, a profound sense of well-being, the sure knowledge that a man is king of his backyard and the sprouting of philosophy, unbelievably tall stories and a mass of believe it or not facts about wood types, smoke, temperature, timing, reliable butchers, hunting, fishing and so forth.
To cut to the chase – a braai is a “go-to” event for any South African, regardless of race, colour, religion or social status. From the backyards of Bloemfontein to the patios in Camps Bay; the beach braai’s at sunset in a wind shelter at Betty’s Bay; a Saturday night on the banks of the Vaal; a car-boot party in Bishop Lavis; or at stopping or picnic spots along any road, park or dam in SA.
An open fire with meat roasting can be found at carwashes before dawn in Soweto and Alexandra; at fancy shiza nyamas in Khayalistsha where tourist flock on weekends; at skopas at dusk on the way home in the townships; when discussing the Bulls’ performance with tjops and dop in Pretoria; next to a caravan on the beach in Margate; or around a cultured fire in Welgemoed with stuffed lamb neck on the coals and Cosmopolitans at the bar.
Of course a barbeque is as popular in America or in England, but where in the world can a braai be not South African. These are facts:
• In New York’s Brooklyn, where there is meat braaing on a balcony, a South African is probably living there;
• In London, boerewors can purchased at most supermarkets to cater for home-sick homeboys;
• When a group of tracksuited tourists are gathered around a fire with a makeshift grill along the banks or any European canal, they will be South Africans;
• The words, braai, boerewors, tjop, vleis, nyama (zulu) nama (Sotho),inyama (Xhosa), is recognized anywhere in Southern Africa, in Australia, on social networks and in any city in Canada.
In short South Africans are mainly “ingonyamas” – watch Disney’s Lion King to find out. (O well – admired big meat eater, ie The King).
Spekko of course, loves braais, things cooked on open fires and potjies (which is another story). That’s why on our website, you will find recipes for Indian tandoori chicken, Thai prawn skewers, Portuguese peri peri chicken, ostrich kebabs, braaied snoek with apricot jam, and Indian chutney chops.
No braai, however, is quite right without the right salads, “bykos”, sambals, rubs, marinades, snacks and sauces – all of which you can try out, courtesy of Spekko
To give you some taste of what’s cooking, try this Spicy Basmati rice salad with nuts and dried fruit with your curry chops this weekend: Click Here