One of the things we missed out on while we were in Argentina was taking part in an asado. This is the Argentine version of our Bar-B-Q and although we’d had enough meat we would have liked to enjoy one first-hand during our 6 weeks in the country. Imagine our surprise then when on day number 3 in South Africa we found ourselves enjoying the South African version of the BBQ.
The word braai comes from the Afrikaans word for grill, and grill they did. Of the group that we were invited to join everyone took a turn grilling except for the host. We probably spent about two hours cooking because there was just so much for the 10 of us and there wasn’t a morsel of hamburger to be found. As for last week’s Foodie Friday there were no exotic meats to try although there were a few suggestions. Instead, we had chicken breast, chicken wings, steak, and probably 6 different varieties of sausage.
Most, if not all, of that sausage was boerewors, which is is basically South African sausage. Generally strongly seasoned with about a million of varieties from spicy, cheese, and even garlic. The most amazing part was that for all the varieties, it was all beef.
Missing from the braai though, which our hosts soon remedied was our first taste of biltong. Pronounced with their accents such that I thought they were talking about “bull tongue” it is basically sun-dried beef, something akin to jerky, but spiced and a good bit more flavorful as well. This specialty though can actually be found, or so I’m told, in ostrich, kudu, and impala varieties as well.
There are braai pits nearly every where we go, including inside the cricket stadium. Its one thing for the grocery store to have a specialty braai foods section but the gas station does as well. As the weather here is always wonderful it really isn’t much a surprise that a weekend here wouldn’t be complete without a braai.