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Posted on: Monday, 26 August 2013

Beer, Biltong, Braai – My 3 Favourite Things About South Africa

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When I was 21, I decided to broaden my horizons and move to the United Kingdom to visit my family, gain some new experiences and to travel a bit. I was there for eight years and returned home to Cape Town not so long ago. Although I had a wonderful time abroad, filled with laughter, great memories and fabulous photos, I missed South Africa. It is by far the most beautiful country and when I was living here I took its beauty for granted.

As the plane was landing in Cape Town after an hour stopover in Jo-burg, there were only about ten of us on board, all Capetonians. When we rounded past Table Mountain to land, I think everyone of us on board was in tears … It is an overwhelming feeling to see this iconic mountain that when living here you see day to day and probably don’t take much notice of. The two oceans surrounding the Cape are also outstanding, filled with amazing marine life. I missed whale season, all the surrounding mountains, the beautiful beaches, the friendly people, the chilled out atmosphere and the way of life.

There is so much I love about our country but the 3 things I missed the most, were the simple things … The beer, the biltong and of course a good old South African braai!

 

Beer, Biltong, Braai

 

When I arrived, I had my priorities in place … contact friends and family and organize a braai. There is not a more social occasion than having people you love standing around a roaring fire with you, enjoying a few drinks in the afternoon sun.

During the course of the braai the beverages will be flowing, so make sure there is plenty. I went to the shops before the braai to get the booze. Boy did I miss Amstel, Castle and Black Label, three of the best South African brewed beers. I couldn’t help but buy some biltong and droewors (dried beef and dried sausage – it doesn’t sound appealing when I put it that way, but try it!!) while there, which I managed to consume before I even got back home.

 

Beer, Biltong, Braai

 

Now a braai is different to a barbeque, (I did try to educate the friends I made in England) gas and coals are just not the way a braai is done! You need loads of wood in order to make a monstrous fire that takes ages to burn down, this is the social aspect and the fun part! Once the wood has burnt down and you have some great coals going … the braaing begins.

There must be boerewors – thick or thin beef sausage that is spiced to perfection. Slap it on the grid and let it sizzle away until cooked. The smell is exquisite and will have you drooling! Nothing tastes better than boerewors done on the braai, especially when you put it on a roll with some tomato and onion smoor (homemade spicy tomato and onion relish). Mission accomplished, 1st day back and I had managed to have the three things I missed the most while abroad.

 

Beer, Biltong, Braai

 

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There are so many wonderful aspects of South Africa, an enormous amount of awesome sights and loads of things to do while here. I would definitely recommend you immerse yourself in the SA culture, try the drinks, the food and take part in one of our favourite past times … braaing.

Michelle Rawlinson

About 

Michelle has a huge love for all things aquatic, particularly marine life. Her main passion lies with Great White Sharks, although she is interested in all marine species and their well-being. She volunteers at the Two Oceans Aquarium in her spare time and would spend all her time by the sea or surrounded by nature if possible. After spending 7 years in the United Kingdom, she has returned back home to Cape Town to be nearer to her family and to her ‘favourite place in the world’. She enjoys camping, fishing, watching rugby and going out with her friends and family to try out new restaurants and bars.

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1 comment about Beer, Biltong, Braai – My 3 Favourite Things About South Africa
  1. August 26th, 2013 at 09:12
    Dianne says:

    You are making me so homesick!! I’m still living in the UK with my German husband. I so wish we could return to Cape Town, but we visit as often as possible. It’s hard when you have family on all four corners of the globe. But Cape Town will always be my home.