South Africa – 25 days, 4,000 kilometres!

March 8, 2014

We arrived at Johannesburg. Our flight last almost 2 hours longer because of the discovery of a small malfunction of the plane which is being repaired and analyzed. However, there is no need to worry”. In addition to that, some British ladies who sat on the seats behind me singing songs by Rihanna during the night made me not sleep and read and study as much information about South Africa as possible in the 13-hour time in the plane. We had booked the air tickets on Monday and flew on Thursday, so big traveler’s preparation could not be considered. On Tuesday, we were vaccinated, but the doctor had shaken her head – the vaccines start to be effective in 10 or 14 days (therefore, we did not rely on them much – “just be cautious”), she prescribed some antimalarials, a repellent (that was said to be able to etch even a plastic chair), we bought sleeping bags, packed some plum brandy (slivovica) and minimized the amount of the clothes by virtue of our backpacks and went on our 25-day long trip to South Africa. Continue reading

post

The Garden Route: A mysterious 200-kilometre-long journey

May 14, 2012

It can be written a lot about the Garden Route, but even more can be shown. In addition to that, I have chosen the option “less words, more photos”. “A mysterious journey” along south-eastern coast of the Republic of South Africa is a 200-kilometre long route with lagoons, lakes, beaches, beautiful countryside and hidden towns… Good is to divide the whole journey to 3, 4, or 5 days and even better while going along the main route to turn as many times as possible to inconspicuous paths to find a beach, an accommodation, and spend your day/night with biltong and chilled beer. Read More

In African, Južná Afrika
post

South Africa: The best of the culinary surprises

May, 6, 2012

… And what we had to taste during our trip through the Republic of South Africa and what I found/found not tasty.

BILTONG

The statement, “This will be my most favourite dish since now:)” belongs to biltong made by T. Biltong are dried pieces of meat cut on thin slices (variety from beef to antelope or ostrich). The meat is being dried in a special wooden “biltonger” which is being secretly constructed during weekends by T., in my opinion:) We had been given some Biltong (reputedly the best in Africa) by Stephan before we started our morning journey to the Kruger Park. It comes from Dutch words BIL – meat, TONG – tongue.

BRAAI

An African barbecue, a real one as it should be. Besides the food, a lot of drink and plenty of people. Meat is grilled, mostly steaks and sausages, prawns and bread with cheese and tomato filling. They say there is an unwritten rule during these “social events” – women cook salad and dishes in kitchen and men grill the meat. We had 4 braais in the first 4 days and plenty, plenty of meat!

RUSKS

Rusks or “biskoty“ with coffee cannot be missed. These biscuits are dunked in hot coffee. Delicious. We tried lots of kinds (my everyday African dependence). From the commercial ones, the best were from Melissa shop – I stockpiled them, so that we could have them at home. And from the non-commercial ones, the winners were biscuits by Jan’s mother which I had for the premiere African breakfast. Who is interested in the recipe, write me – I cannot imagine my morning without the biscuits anymore, even here, in Prague.

OYSTERS

The city of Knysna located on the Garden Route is a synonym of oysters. Who visited this city without tasting an oyster, it would be like they had never actually been there. You can have some oysters during a 10-day-long “Oyster” festival in July. And I finally ate them in the way they should be eaten – with lemon, black pepper, Tabasco, and champagne, of course.

PAP

Presumably, the most typical dish for the African-American inhabitants (very cheap and rich). Pap is a mashed corn eaten mostly with chicken or with gravies. For breakfast it is eaten sweet – with butter and sugar. However, I liked more salty pap – during one braai in Johannesburg with Chakalaka sauce according to the homemade-extra-spicy recipe!

 

ANTELOPE AND OSTRICH STEAK

Kudu is a wild antelope and kudu biltong is very popular, anyway. And what should I say about ostrich steak… Maybe just that I begged our in-Cape-Town CouchSurfer Kyle to cook an ostrich steak for me. He, anyway, is the chef in the brilliant family restaurant Fraiche Ayres. Kyle has recently written a cookery book full of recipes, from which I have tried his recipe on a homemade cheesecake:) And anyway, ostrich meat is healthy and almost without cholesterol.

MELKTERT

A milk dessert, extra sweet thank to its milk filling and plenty of sugar, eggs and flour. Most frequently, it is served with pudding, so that it is even sweeter. Its origin comes from the Netherlands, both ingredients and name – milk dessert – Milk Tart. I have my recipe prepared, so it will follow after the Rusks. Expect some photos!

 

BUNNY CHOW

If you want to try Bunny Chow, do it only in Durban. It is the area KwaZulu-Natal where former Indian inhabitants remain, for whose bread curry is typical. I did not manage to try it in Durban, but I could not leave it like that. We had our last dinner in Cape Town at Eastern Food Bazaar (www.easternfoodbazaar.co.za). Typical for Cape Town is Malay curry. The loaf of bread was almost bigger than I, filled with chicken curry! Therefore, I could thick the last remaining item on my ToTaste list:)

SAMOSAS

We cooked these Indian pastry filled with vegetables or meat on our own. Cooking Safari in Cape Town at Jazmina’s place was amazing! Except for samosas, we cooked Malay curry, chapati  – Indian flat bread and as a dessert koeksisters – (extra) sweet doughnuts. Interesting was a drink we drank in the beginning – milk with seeds and pink water. Muslims drink it during Ramadan every morning. It fills up thank to the seeds, so they can easier manage their day without food. 

What to wash down?

AMARULA

Amarula liqueur is a mixture of coffee, vanilla, rum and fruits of Marula tree. This tree is also known as “elephant tree”, because elephants (plus except for them, baboons and monkeys) like using its unfermented fruits in the way like people use alcohol. And its fruits are used for production of other African alcohol –  mampoer – a strong homemade fruit brandy.

PINOTAGE

This sort of wine has been bred in South Africa from Pinot Noir and Hermitage. So, that is how this red wine, of which people are proud, originated. You just must have one day for degustation of wines. The area Stellenbosch, except for it beautiful green vegetation, is full of vineyards (more than 200), where you can degust wines for free. The oldest area closest to Cape Town is Groat Constantia. We managed to visit both and took some Pinotage with us during our stay.

SPARLETTA – CREME SODA

An unidentifiable taste for me. However, here is the opinion of T., who in my point of view drank hectolitres of it, because it had became his second new top after biltong:), “It is a mixture of vanilla Cola, ginger tonic and Chupa Chups lollipop.” They call Creme Soda a green ambulance, because it is said to help with hangovers. That is why you can often see it in the hands of students early in the morning.

ROOIBOS

I often drink it even at home, but it tasted somehow better in Africa, really:) It is healthy, contains mineral stuff, cooper, iron, calcium and no caffeine. People drink it and treat with it probably everything. And what is the most important, it is delicious. In South Africa, rooibos is drunk with milk and thank to its red colour is often called red tea (the translation of rooibos is a red bush).

If you do not have enough, see next photos. And if you want to learn how to cook African meals, check the calendar of courses of the cooking school Chefparade. The course of African cuisine with Papis is to repeat soon!

A few more photos:

Homemade bran Rusks from Johannesburg

Homemade Rusks from Prague:)

Full moon at Victoria’s Bay with Pinotage wine

Melissa shop in Stellenbosch for all gourmets! http://www.melissas.co.za/

To enjoy or not to enjoy Pinotage wine in a backpacker style?

Breakfast in Storms River on the Garden Route. Toasts with Amarula jam and Mealie Pap – sweet pap with honey and milk

At Andrew’s in Port Elizabeth after an evening braai. Ostrich boerewors (dried ostrich sausages) and homemade pickled olives

I am pleased to tell you that I have just found a shop Cape Corner focused only on specialities from South Africa, that contains a few of the previously mentioned meals. I am waiting for my order to be delivered these days – biltong, rusks and Savanna Dry (which I did not mention here – a great refreshing Cider). Who wants to know more, see here!

In African, Južná Afrika
post

South Africa: Johannesburg, Jo′burg, Jozi… Or the most dangerous place all over the world

April 25, 2012

When you read about South Africa, words like criminality, AIDS, poverty are the most repeated. However, you can also find out that Cape Town was placed as no. 1 in the Tripadvisor chart as the destination of 2011 with beautiful pictures of nature reserves, animals and white beaches. South Africa has been through tough times. In addition, the apartheid officially ended here in 1994, when Mandela became the president. It is said that life and life conditions are still bad, but slowly, very slowly get better. AIDS has still been the biggest problem. South Africa is one of the most infected areas of the world, every fourth woman is HIV positive and 1,000 inhabitants die every day. Read More

In African, Južná Afrika
post

CouchSurfing – surfing your couch?

April 7, 2012

CouchSurfing is a project and a community of people in one package that can provide you their spare “couch” and put you up, no matter whether it is an extensible bed in their living room or a spare bedroom. The hearth of the CouchSurfing is not to find an accommodation for free, but the fact that you will meet interesting people, who can show you the place and the city in the way they live, if they want and are free. Read More

In African, Južná Afrika