The Quintessential South African Food Pantry
With Heritage Day around the corner, it’s time to celebrate what makes South Africans different. As a rainbow nation, with a country filled with all manners of races, creeds, religions and beliefs, it’s hard to establish a standard, but the one thing that we can agree on is what our quintessential South African food pantry items are. We look at some of the most iconic South African food items that should be in your kitchen cupboard.
South African Food We Love
All Gold Tomato Sauce
Made with 36 tomatoes, and an unlimited amount of love, All Gold always has a spot on our shelf.
Mrs Balls Chutney
Whether you like it spicy, peachy or just keeping it classic, there’s nothing that reminds us of the taste of home like old Mrs B.
The finely ground maize meal works hard as a sweet and savoury dish. What would a braai be without it?
While we’re on the subject of pap, you simply can’t have it without chakalaka. The fiery tomato and onion relish is a necessity on top of creamy maize meal.
Peri Peri Sauce
Some people make theirs, some buy it ready made. No matter how you get your fix, peri-peri sauce is right up there with tomato sauce in the pantry-staple department.
Good for you? We’re not sure. Delicious? Absolutely. We’ve upgraded from simply sprinkling the ‘general purpose’ seaoning over eggs, to using it as popcorn flavouring. Please don’t tell mom.
We’re quite serious about our cheese, and serious cheese calls for serious accoutrements, where only fig konfyt will do.
Needs no introduction. We’re all partial to a little brandy, even if we’ll never admit it.
Ultra Mel Custard
It’s like they boxed up the flavour of childhood happiness.
Koo Apricot Jam
This tastes so good, even grannies all over the country passed this off as their own.
Probably the quintessential South African food if ever there was one. A household staple, we’ve even known the odd vegetarian to gnaw on a snapstick.
What else would South Africans use to over-sweeten their coffee? Pairs exceptionally well with Ouma rusks.
If ever there was a national treasure, this would be it. While it is, of course, a drink, list of South African food would not be complete without it.
The hearty, creamy porridge-like mixture is what powered most school children through until lunchtime.
Black Cat Peanut Butter
What else would you put on your witbrood sarmie?
Potentially the single most important chocolate for South Africans, and forms part of an iconic dessert – the classic Peppermint Crisp tart. Try our cake version of the tart or this banting friendly version.
Jimmy’s Braai Sauce
Almost a non-negotiable when throwing a chop on the braai.
It’s refreshing and crisp and is a stock standard at nearly every organised sports game.
They’re cheesy, they’re crispy and they coat your fingers with weird orange dust. What’s not to love?
As a kid, it was a weekend treat. As an adult, it’s a weekend hangover cure also known as a green ambulance.
The chunky, comforting anytime dish always has a place in our pantry. A South African food staple.
The taste of childhood if ever there was one, reminiscent of sports day past when it was served in large plastic dispensers.
You either love or hate old Anchovette, but there’s no denying that it’s a staple in nearly every South African home.
Our South African food may be a little odd, but we love it nonetheless. See how it fares when Americans try out our weirdest and most wonderful foods.
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