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Posts Tagged ‘Braai’

logoThis weekend, being a long one and all, seemed like a perfectly fine time to go and see exactly how much dairy and alcohol one system could take. It was time for CheeseFest. Having been there the year before, and knowing exactly what waited for me on the other side, I was about do dive headfirst into what would be the ultimate hell for anyone with lactose intolerance. Hell yeah. I gathered to together the Crazy Kids from Cape Town who were here for the weekend, fired up Betsy, and headed off to Franschoek.

Better weather we could not have asked for, it being a perfectly perfect Autumn afternoon, ideal for sipping wine in the sunlight. Travelling with Kid A from Cape Town is always a lot of fun, seeing as she is nothing short of batshit crazy, in the best way possible. Highlights include her hanging out of the car window on the way there, drawing much attention to the oh-so Afrikaans family in the SUV behind us. It was a thing of beauty to behold. Kid B behaved himself. Kind of.

Eventually, after 2km of car queue (I kid you not), we arrived at the place that Kid A would soon refer to as ‘heaven.’

And heaven it was. If you have never been to cheese fest, then it’s all rather difficult to explain to you. The best analogy I can think of is that it’s a bit like a trance party. Except there is no trance, or hippies. Just a shitload of people, and one hell of a lot of cheese. There aren’t that many big name Wineries, but there’s plenty of wine. And taste it, we did. Nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

A few things pissed me off, like the overly sexually-frustrated Checkers presenters, trying oh so hard to get you to spend all of your money at their supermarket. Other than that it was all a rather pleasant experience. Not bad for an event where you have at least 5000 people whacked out of their heads on lactose (and wine).

I must also make mention of MC Squared wines, where I had the most phenomenal tasting… This man crafts the wines himself, and seeing his passion behind winemaking was quite something. He also has the most amazing warning labels on the back of his wine bottles. Keep an eye out for it.

After a braai back at mine, some more alcohol (Oh dear God why?), I became one with the couch, before having to drag myself up the stairs, for the great dairy digestion to begin. Man did I have weird dreams last night…

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sosaties-and-lambchops-on-braai-foodinsouthafricaThere are several things that define one as being proudly South African. These things are quintessential to our being. Without them, we would have nothing to seperate us from other Nationalities (yes, even the Australians). I am of course speaking of our national past time, one that stretches across all race/income/social/sport and sometimes even political divides. I am of course talking of the braai. The braai harks back to our primal urges, that of man-make-fire and eating red meat. Grrrr. Our love of the braai is even spoken of in guidebooks to our country, and I quote:

More than simply the process of cooking over an outdoor fire, however, a braai is a cultural event arguably even more central to the South African identity than barbecues are to Australians. […] A braai is an intensely social event, usually among family and friends, and accompanied by gallons of beer. It’s also probably the only occasion you’ll catch an unreconstructed South African man cooking.

I’m pretty sure you can braai anything. If you have a Weber, I’m pretty sure you can even bake a loaf of bread (I haven’t tried this, so if it doesn’t work, don’t blame me). You can make toasties, chops, steak, veggies, kebabs, chicken and just about anything that can be turned with tongs. It truly is a great device for killing hungry. And anything coming off a braai tastes good. FACT.

But trust the Americans to screw things up for us. What are Americans good at, besides being stupid? Being fat. Which is where the Bacon Explosion originates from. The ingredients? A kilo of bacon, a kilo of sausage meat, and about a litre of basting. It is heart disease wrapped in bacon. And it’s apparently delicious. I’m not so convinced. The recipe calls that you weave bacon. Who weaves bacon? The full recipe can be found here, but the end product looks like this:

This is why you're fat: The Bacon Explosion

This is why you're fat: The Bacon Explosion

Braai hieracry is also a fierce element of our sacred ritual. There are no woman around a braai. This is a man’s work. Also, no-one crosses the braai master. His will is sacred. The best video I’ve seen describing this hierachy is below. I recommend you watch it, no matter the size of your bandwidth. This is important education, that everyone of every race and sex should watch. Watch, learn and live:

So there you have it. The next time you light a fire, know this – you are tickling a primal urge so deep, so deeply embedded in your DNA, that you can’t help but be proudly South African.

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