Street food – it’s such a great concept. Something cheap and readily available, sold on the streets in a portable format, and eaten by the average local. Think Leberkaese rolls in Austria; grilled corn on the cob in Morocco; falafel or shawarma throughout the Middle East; frites with mayonnaise in Belgium and Holland; poutine in Canada; tacos in Mexico; chilli dogs and corn dogs in the USA; satays and noodles in Asia and arepas in Venezuela.
In South Africa, we have the usual collection of generic international street food like hamburgers, fried chicken, or fish and chips, but here and there you will find some truly South African food being sold on the streets, like Durban’s home-grown favourite: bunny chows. Which is a slang term for a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry, this can be either a veggie or meat curry.
Here a list of the best places to eat a Bunny Chow, they were all listed at one point or another on quarterbunny.co.za - a bunny chow rating site..
* Sasol Convenience Store - Mount Edgecombe, 34 Siphosethu Rd, Durban
* Some Like It Hot - 3 Umhlanga Rocks Drive, Durban North
* BP Convenience Store - 26 Palmfield Rd, Springfield Flats, Durban
* A Taste of India - 258 Florida Road, Durban
* Jalapeno Cover - 137 Jan Hofmeyer Road Westville, Durban
Concerns of cleanliness and freshness often discourage people from eating street food. Lack of refrigeration is often construed as a lack of cleanliness or hygiene; on the other hand, street food often uses particularly fresh ingredients for this very reason.
Another concern here in SA I find is the safety, you don't really see that many people walking on the street or in the city centers so the need for street food is less than say in Asia, where it is much safer to walk and eat on the streets.
But around parking lots of bigger strip malls there is mostly a vendor who sells his boerie rolls. Since there is security on these parking lots, it is safe for the vendor and his clients.
So what is a boerie roll you say? The boerie roll roll aka boerewors is possibly the best-known South African street food across all cultures. Simply a juicy piece of spicy sausage served on a bread roll with your choice of tomato and onion mix ('train smash') tomato sauce, mustard or all three.
During the World Cup Football last year, while me and the girls were in Thailand, Dirk lived off on these rolls. He just loves them with a glass of beer!
Supposedly the best boerie roll in Joburg is at Hunga Zone in Olivedale.
Another one is The Gatsby
Traditionally a Cape Town speciality, Gatsbys are especially popular across the Cape Flats and most of the take away outlets that sell them are Halaal. Basically a Gatsby consists of a baguette stuffed with hot chips, meat such as masala steak or polony, and a hot sauce or pickle such as atchar.
You can find the best Gatsby in Capetown at these places:
- Ottery Farmstall in Ottery, near the Hyper and Macro Phone: 021 7042211
- Texies - 196 Main Rd, Seapoint Phone: 021 434 9305
- Fisherman’s Basket Main Rd, Claremont Phone: 021 683 5440
- Yusra's Kitchen, corner Fort & Main Rds, Sea Point Phone: 021-4394883
- Golden Dish – Klipfontein Rd, Gatesville Centre, Rylands Phone: 021 6383796
Everybody know this one: The Samoosa.
South Africa, especially Cape Town, has a large Muslim community and the Malay influence can be tasted in many of the traditional foods on sale around the country. A zesty mixture of meat and vegetables (sometimes just veggies) in a folded, triangular pastry case, the samoosa is a cheap and delicious snack for those on the run who just want a bite to eat.
The best and most plump samoosas in Joburg you will find at World of Samoosas at the Oriental Plaza.
An then there is the The Smiley or Skop, the most unusual of them all.
Grin and bear it! This may sound rather gruesome but it's an integral part of township food - a braised cow, goat or sheep's head, charred on the braai and sold with a litre of Coca Cola and half a loaf of bread - this can easily feed up to 4 hungry friends. Brains and eyeballs are particularly tasty, according to those in the know. The name comes from the grizzly grin of death the head sports once the lips have been burned off, revealing a set of teeth.
This is how it is prepared:
Step 1: Shave of all the hair.
Step 2: Use a red hot iron and burn off the rest of the hair.
Step 3: Stick a hook through the nostrils and dip it in boiling water to cook the meat and brains.
Step 4: Pull it out and using an ax, chop the skull in half.
Step 5: Toss it in a pile of coals to smoke for a while.
Step 6: Season and rip the meat off the face and eat.
Now, I am sure that I would stay away from the brains and the eyes, but I heard the cheek meat was delicious and the tongue was great too. Some people I heard of ate the ear and said it was tasty until he hit the crunchy ear canal…YIKES ~ is anyone hungry yet?
Another heart-stopping staple is the ‘vetkoek’, a savoury doughnut-type roll that can be eaten as is or stuffed with meat, cheese or relish.
Then there is the more interesting stuff: amanqina – boiled and spiced hoof of cow, pig or sheep; mala – boiled then fried chicken intestines; maotwana or walkie-talkies – cleaned, salted chicken feet boiled then fried; umngqusho – samp and beans; mogodu – boiled tripe normally served with samp and beans.
These are all SOWETO'S local street foods which is noted for its cultural diversity. And NONE of them I have tried!! So I have my work cut out for me!! LOL! And if you are interested in these rather unusual street foods from Soweto, go to this link.
What are the street foods in your area?? Some yummy ones?
Tell me about it!