South African cuisine is unique and diverse, like its population. Fruit, bulbs, nuts, leaves and vegetation are frequently found and used in South African dishes.

Cooked grains and stewed meat was the staple food for settlers. It’s unclear why corn was a substitute for grain products and who got it to South Africa but it is still an important part of the cuisine in the country. Other meats like goat, sheep, etc. are used too. Beef was the most favored in the country, though.

The daily diet of South Africans can be traced back to what their forefathers ate. It included cornmeal commonly called pap. It was usually served with meaty stews.

Meat is usually the main component or element of all South African meals. The most popular meats are grilled on open fires. Customary barbeque is served with various other dishes like onion and tomato relish, salads, bread and other side dishes. The method used to cook meat is indigenous to South Africa.

One more cuisine which is popular all over the country is a type of stew called potjiekos. It is cooked in a cast iron pot on an open fire. Various vegetables and meat are usually stewed here.

Some other dishes common and native to South Africa include:

  • Koeksisters are an important part of the cuisine. The dough is platted neatly and fried in oil. It’s then dipped in a sugary and tasted syrup. They are affordable and are available all over the country.
  • Melktert is a mixture of custard that is poured in a tart crust. It can also be sprinkled with some cinnamon. It’s a great dish if you like sweets.
  • Biltlong is a beef that is uncooked and instead processed with various spices and salt. After that, it’s hung in a room to dry.