Nurturing Dishes That Remind Us of South African Life
For many South Africans it might be a Bunny chow or some biltong. Alternatively, it may be a Cape Malay curry or a cut of Boerewors. Then again, for those with a sweet tooth a serve of Malva pudding might light up their night. Why familiar foods comfort us through life is probably less important than the fact that they do. A chakalaka and pap may be the dish that rings your bell the best and transports you to a special place inside yourself. Good food can and does nurture us more than many other things in life.
Simple Comfort Foods Are Divine
I remember some comforting dishes that my mother made for me with that secret ingredient – a mother’s love. No celebrity chef has ever reached those sensual heights in my book. Not even Neil Perry or Jamie Oliver can touch the food inspired memories imprinted by my dear departed mum. Today, we can mention Adriaan Maree and Reuben Riffel, as great South African chefs of the 21C. These chefs are rocking the boats and making waves upon the culinary seas. A rusk, a braai, a melktert? Whatever it might be for you at home, these familiar foods that comfort us are simply divine.
We can dine out on exotic fare and hob nob with mates in fancy joints but eventually we like to come home to what we know best. Comfort foods that remind us of our roots are important parts of the puzzle of what it means to be human, in my view. I know that I am most happy chowing down on good food that feeds the soul, as well as my belly. Life is a rich experience for those who remember to honour their origins.