When cul­tures ‘meat’

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Western Cape News - VIN­CENT CRUYWAGEN vin­centc@the­newage.co.za

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.

OLD FAVOURITE: Bil­tong.

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