When cultures ‘meat’
SOUTH Africa’s meat cuisine comes a long way and dates back from before the arrival of the first European settlers in 1652.
Researchers Dr Sara Erasmus and Prof Louw Hoffman from the department of animal science at Stellenbosch University found that the Khoisan hunted for survival saying the settlers learnt from the indigenous people how to source meat through hunting and fishing.
Their findings published recently in Animal Frontiers showed braai, biltong and droëwors could be traced back to the Khoisan who fireroasted and air-dried meat.
“The indigenous Khoisan, black African groups and settlers trekked across the land and since food was scarce, nothing of the animals was wasted – from the meat to the intestines. Consequently, traditional dishes made from offal existed.
“Mala mogodu (a popular stewed tripe dish) is made from animal intestines (mala) and stomach lining (mogodu), while the Afrikaners make a dish called afval (offal), spiced with curry (kerrie afval),” the researches said.
They said the Europeans as well as their Indo-Asian slaves implemented new techniques for meat preservation, processing and cooking.
The slaves brought them various spices, herbs and cooking styles which were incorporated into the cuisine and led to the creation of the Cape Dutch cooking style.
“The Cape Malay people brought an Indonesian flair with their spicy curries which contributed to the creation of typical dishes such as bredie (stew), pickled fish and bobotie, while the 19th century Indian labourers introduced curried meat dishes to the country.
“Bredies were also developed through the need to tenderise the tough meat of cattle obtained from the Khoikhoi, while the inclusion of curry and spices were particularly useful to disguise slightly tainted meat,” the researchers said.
They also said the South African meat cuisine transformed daily where trends, diets, availability of meat and population and ethnic groups were some of the factors playing a role.
“Changes in consumption traits show how South African consumers have developed and transformed with time.