Indigenous African cooking, traditional Afrikaner cuisine, and the Portuguese among others have contributed to the deliciously diverse flavours of South Africa's "rainbow cuisine." Bredies, biltong, boerewors, mealiepap, umngqusho, mashonzha, and peri-peri prawns feature strongly on the menu in South African homes.
Indigenous African Cooking
The authentic African kitchen is focused on maize meal porridge, meat and sauce. The sauce is made from a variety of savouries (shebu) and vegetables and flavoured with chilli. Maize meal porridge is the staple food of almost the whole of the African continent.
Traditional Afrikaner Cuisine
Afrikaners are mostly descendents from the original Dutch, French and German settlers, who founded the Cape colony in the 17th century. The cuisine that stands out as typical Afrikaner, is to a large extent based on the Dutch settlers cuisine, with contributions from the French and German settlers. Add to that a large portion of Malay cooking and temper it all by years of migrating on the Great Trek.
The Portuguese Kitchen
Because of the proximity of former Portuguese colonies Mozambique and Angola to South Africa, Portuguese cuisine made considerable impact in the South African kitchen, predominantly through the use of hot and spicy chilli-based peri-peri seasoning.
Grilled peri-peri chicken has become a national institution. Chouriço, prego rolls, chicken livers, giblets and seafood are prepared as only the Portuguese can. Portuguese South African cooking is particularly known for its mouth watering seafood dishes, such as prawns, calamari, bacalhou, and crab amongst others, prepared in a multitude of ways.