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Posts Tagged ‘Tradition’

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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