NEAT STREET EATS

Financial Mail - - LIFE OUTBOX - Sylvia Mcke­own

It’s not ev­ery day you get dolled up like a hot dog. And yet, there I was at the Street Food Fes­ti­val (SFF) two years ago, hop­ping into a sausage suit in a flashy, sil­ver-lined room, my friend fes­tooned as a loose leaf of gar­nish. Hon­estly, dress­ing up as food for the sim­ple pur­pose of tak­ing self­ies was re­ally one of the more fun food ex­pe­ri­ences I’ve had. Stuff­ing my face with a Thali fish taco at the same fes­ti­val a year later ranks up there too.

The SFF has nib­bled its way into the hearts and cal­en­dars of SA’S food­ies, be­com­ing one of the most fun culi­nary events of the year. Last week it was named by Na­tional Ge­o­graphic as one of the world’s top 25 un­miss­able food and drinks fes­ti­vals.

The SFF has al­ways been more than a sin­gle mar­ket day.

Now in its fifth year, the fes­ti­val has evolved into a 10-day gath­er­ing across Joburg and Cape Town — from Au­gust 31 to Septem­ber 9, to be ex­act. In short, it’s a bo­nanza of all things ed­i­ble, on the go.

Of course, there will be a lot of great food on of­fer. In Cape Town, you can gorge your­self on treats from Sharky’s Tacos, Klein­sky’s and Ex­ot­i­cally Divine.

There will also be DJS, an ac­claimed In­dian food movie screen­ing and a trea­sure map of places across town that will serve spe­cial tasty treats for the week.

There are var­i­ous food walks lined up, but I par­tic­u­larly like the sound of one that will delve into the heart of the Joburg’s West African food scene.

Pre­fer some­thing more seden­tary? The fes­ti­val’s “crate talks” are es­sen­tially mini con­fer­ences at which some of SA’S more in­ge­nious and in­spir­ing lo­cal food pur­vey­ors en­lighten crate-seated au­di­ences. This year Capeto­ni­ans can learn a thing or two from Dial-a-koe­sister, which de­liv­ers de­li­cious warm koe­sisters to your door on a Sun­day morn­ing; Toast Ale, which brews beer us­ing un­sold bread loaves and un­used crusts; and Jeremy Barty, founder of Bread­rev, an or­gan­i­sa­tion built to up­lift com­mu­ni­ties through ar­ti­sanal bread sales in Cape Town.

In Joburg, Kgosi Rampa and

Si­fiso Dlanga­mandla will break down how they co-founded Soweto’s beloved (and end­lessly cool) Locrate Mar­ket and the Makhel­wane Fes­ti­val, for which houses along Poka Street are trans­formed into eater­ies and art gal­leries for three days. Mok­gadi Ma­bela of Na­tive Nosi, an FM favourite, will talk about the first black woman-owned bee farm, where she and her fam­ily pro­duce in­cred­i­ble or­ganic in­dige­nous honey.

As a plus, Stu­dio H, the de­sign out­fit that con­cep­tu­alises and pro­duces the fes­ti­val, has also cre­ated SFF Loves.

This ini­tia­tive sup­ports a dif­fer­ent food-re­lated cause ev­ery year.

For 2018 it has cho­sen Food­for­ward SA, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that col­lects sur­plus food from manufacturers, whole­salers and re­tail­ers to re­dis­tribute to non­prof­its run­ning food pro­grammes that feed thou­sands daily. You can sup­port this by buy­ing some vir­tual street food from its on­line store, whether you get to SFF or not.

Ex­plore your city, through your stom­ach

Jo h n o M el­lish

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