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Battle over bobotie


Article courtesy of Munadia Karaan (Voice of the Cape Radio)

FEATURE Part 1 – It is turning out to be a battle royal in food circles – is bobotie a true Cape Malay dish or is it “boerekos” that were merely made in the kitchen by slaves from the East? And as such, to whom does this heritage food belong? In the latest edition of De Kat, the debate is brought to the fore and for many food and heritage experts in the Cape Muslim community, it is about time that the matter is properly addressed, given how much of their heritage they have lost because of others claiming it or an inability to properly record it.

In a letter sent to the magazine earlier this year, author of Die Geskiedenis van Boerekos 1652 – 1806, W.W.Claassens took strong exception to “unfounded stories” by authors of the 20th century whom she said had not done the necessary research about the origin of traditional Afrikaner dishes. Bobotie, she wrote, is not a product or improvised dish based on an original recipe of the Cape Malays. After many years of research, she said she had proven that the names Cape Malays gave to food was their only contribution to the development of boerekos.

Claassens added that “the most important Afrikaans writers who were so eager about the contribution of the slaves to boerekos, are busy rewriting their books.” She bases her opinion on the claim that Eastern slaves were never a dominant group at the Cape and as such, they would not have been able to have a significant influence on the food of the Cape. Nor would the wives of the slave owners have allowed them to dominate in the kitchen by cooking foods from their homelands, even if they could afford to buy Eastern spices.

Other side

However, journalist and local food blogger, Johan Liebenberg, who wrote the De Kat article pointed out that several of Claassens assumptions were wrong. He quoted historical sources that sighted that by 1731, the slave population comprised 42% of the city’s population. He also pointed out the shortage of women in the early days at the Cape or the lack of knowledge among those who were here to cook with Eastern spices. Other historical sources confirm that slave women were an integral part of the households at the Cape in the era 1657 –  1808 and even in the 19th century, they played a key role in preparing meals, he wrote.

As for bobotie itself, Claassens claims that it stems from a Roman chef and added that its original name had long fallen by the wayside. However, Liebenberg’s research shows Dutch sources confirming that the dish came via the Cape of Good Hope from Indonesia or vice versa and from there was brought to the Netherlands around the 17th century. He even found proof of such recipes dating back to the 18th century where it was known as “bebotok”, close enough to bobotie.

Liebenberg believed that Claassens should have paid more attention to the role of the Dutch East India Company in the development of certain dishes in colonies it had occupied. From 1602 – 1796 the DEIC had almost a million employees in the East who all had to bring some influence from those countries with them when they returned home, especially with regards to food. It can also not be ignored that many of these officials had taken Eastern women as partners, which helped to create a Creolised culture in the early Cape with multiple influences from Europe, Africa and Asia, he argued.

Denying heritage

While he had great appreciation for the research Claassens had done, Liebenberg wrote, he concurred with the UNESCO view that there is not just one narrative on heritage studies. That, he wrote, is the story of our history. He points out that little is really known about the women or slaves at the early Cape. They were not in the habit of writing down their recipes when they were battling to survive while working in the kitchens, in gardens or elsewhere. “They have already been denied their heritage once. And now a second time?” he asked.

Meanwhile, a member in the Cape Muslim Family Research Forum pointed out that no spokesperson from the Cape Muslim community has stepped into the fray to contest the claim that Cape Malay food tradition has no historical ties. “Thus it is claimed that signature Cape Malay dishes merely have south East Asian labels, whilst the actual recipes are derived from the slave master’s kitchen,” he wrote.

“This is a type of age old Verwoerdian ideological approach with a  narrow heritage lens of focussing on European food origins, whilst intentionally denying the Cape Muslim community its slave legacy of a rich Creolised food ways. We must add to the South African rainbow, not subtract from the national heritage legacy,” he said, urging a national debate on a long neglected issue.

More on this story on Sunday Live at 08h30. Also read Liebenberg’s full article here. VOC (Munadia Karaan)
Last modified onThursday, 27 June 2013 06:03
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Bobotie why so silent?

FEATURE Part 2 – Bobotie might be a cultural landmark in the country, widely recognised to come from Cape Muslim heritage, but there has been a virtual silence in the so-called “Cape Malay” community after an Afrikaner writer claimed that they had nothing more to do with the traditional dish than naming it. According to author of Die Geskiedenis van Boerekos 1652 – 1806, WW Claasens (79), bobotie was in fact true blue “boerekos”. In response food blogger Johan Liebenberg took on Claasens’ reasoning in the 6 June edition of De Kat. Speaking to VOC’s Sunday Live, Liebenberg also took issue with the silence on the issue from the Cape Muslim community.

According to Beeld of 22 April 2004, Claassens’s research into the cuisine of slaves in the 17th century showed that perceptions that the slaves had brought the the art of cooking with spices to prepare dishes such as bobotie to the Cape, were unfounded. Where the slaves came from, people were too poor to afford spices, and they mainly used chillies, turmeric and ginger, she said.

“Slaves didn’t bring any new dishes to the Cape,” she claimed. They only learnt in the Cape about cooking with spices and the typical dishes that were brought to the Cape, according to cookbook authors. Claassens stated that the dishes that formed part of the food culture in the Cape in the 20th century, known as boerekos, were essentially European.

The main contributors were Dutch, German and French cooking, which in turn had its roots in Roman, Persian and Arabic cuisine. Claassens said the Dutch wouldn’t have bought spices from the East if they didn’t have any knowledge about it. She traced curried fish, as we know it today, back to Belgium where it was prepared as early as 1500.

Refuted

This was hotly disputed and largely dismissed by Liebenberg, who told VOC in response: “What it proved to me was the fact that if you do a doctoral thesis or dissertation, you can arrange the facts as you like. That is why many – including in the foodie community in South Africa – accepted her opinion, because it seemed right as she expressed it.”

Liebenberg said that Claasens and her crew had used a book on the Arab influence in European food to prove that boerekos stemmed largely from European food. “But they largely forgot that there were influences from the Malay community.” He said he had to look at his own research and resources to dispute many of Claasens’ claims, amongst others that during the period in question slaves constituted 42% of the population and were not the minority as Claasens claimed.

“Some of my sources claimed that slaves were the majority, certainly as far as women were concerned,” he explained. Claasens also claimed that no European woman would give slave women the right to dominate in the kitchen on the preparation of dishes and the latter were anyway too poor to afford cooking with expensive spices. “I think that claim is ridiculous,” Liebenberg said shortly.

Silence

“But what I find more astounding is that no one in the Cape Malay community got up. And I am sorry if this is an indictment, but of all the historians in my beloved Malay community, why didn’t they get up and say this is not true? Why does it take an Afrikaner like me to say this is nonsense? She was awarded a PhD for this. There is a question begging,” Liebenberg stated.

Fellow panelist on Sunday LiveNew Age journalist Yazeed Kamaldien, said that one reason for the silence might be the fact that people were so involved with bread and butter issues that it left little time to concern themselves with heritage issues. “But what is the bigger debate regarding Afrikaner heritage and culture? For example, we have had the issue of the Afrikaans language with people of colour coming forward to say it is their language as well.”

Liebenberg concurred and said it was necessary for his community to look at facts. “We regard ourselves as Afrikaner or whatever, but we are actually mixed. We are all a melting pot and we all have to realise that we are not one culture, but a hybrid of cultures. So we must get rid of our exclusivity in order for us to move forward a little bit.”

Afrikaners

Given that the Afrikaner community was very proud of its heritage, which it had tried hard to preserve, Kamaldien asked: “Why was it so relevant for this author to claim something as bobotie as part of the Afrikaner culture? Is it because people feel constantly threatened, that they need to hold onto their past so badly? We actually see it as journalists that white Afrikaners feel so downtrodden in a country that used to belong to them.”

While it was true that Claasens came from a different generation, Liebenberg said her attitude was not completely unique to others in her community. “For example, in 1992 there was only one Afrikaner folk festival. Today there are five. In other words, I think the  Afrikaners feels threatened and want to grab onto things that they regard as theirs. Often much of what they believed in, no longer exists,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Liebenberg reiterated his affection for Cape Muslims and their rich culture that he has strongly advocated in his work. “I grew up among Malay friends in Milner Road. The border between Military Road and I was the Bo-Kaap. Sometime around 1994, I had been busy taking photos for an article on the Bo-Kaap. A Malay woman invited me in for tea and koesisters. Her daughter also appeared with her young baby and I never understood why they showed such wonderful hospitality towards me. Until this day I wish I could contact them again to thank them for it,” he said wistfully.

Comments

While authorative voices in the Cape Muslim community were largely silent, the matter did evoke strong debate and even humour online, including from many ex-pats. Commenting on Facebook, Nawhal said it was both ironic and refreshing that a white Afrikaner male was championing the cause of “Cape Malays” – a term that in recent years were seldom used and substituted for Cape Muslims, which some felt was more politically correct.

“Until this day our slave ancestors are being questioned on their food. Let’s hope someone with the necessary skills will come up with details on who bobotie really belongs to. I’m rooting for a Cape Malay slave, stolen from Penang, who worked as a cook in some Cape Dutch household and she should ‘suma’ also be the one who added cinnamon and cardamon to the once boring milk tart, turning it into a ‘regte melktert’, while bringing her version of Penang curry with flaky rooti to the Cape,” she quipped.

Naeem felt that it was at times like these that the passion showed by people like the late Dr Achmat Davids to preserve Cape Muslim heritage was sorely missed in setting the record straight. Fara in the US took a dig at Claasens: “She cannot let go of the past. Let it go Claassens, it’s over. Bobotie belongs to us, ‘die Slamse kinners’ Lol.” Shaheda added: “At least in the US, they admitted that if it was not for the natives and the slaves, they would have starved to death or died of bland food. Lol.”

Zuid Afrikaner commented on VOCFM: “The only ‘contribution’ the current Boere made to OUR bobotie, was to add apricot jam and flaked almonds to it, eek!” Even non-Muslims like Jo-anne weighed in on the debate. “I consider bobotie to be part of my cultural heritage – and it’s a great family favourite. My ancestors include slaves and indigenous people; Dutch and French settlers, so maybe it’s one of those dishes that celebrates our shared and entangled histories.”

Inclusion

Heritage fundi, Kammie was irate at the exclusion of the Cape Malay’s contribution by Claasens and her ilk. “Bobotie has enriched two South African culinary traditions – boerekos foodways and Cape Malay cuisine. Thus bobotie as the national dish symbolises the one signature recipe whereby food is the great democratic leveller regardless of social status, rank or station in life,” he wrote on VOCFM.

“Communities have embraced Cape Malay cuisine as part of the South African culinary tradition with copies of Cape Malay cookery books by Cass Abrahams, Fadiela Williams, Zainab Lagerdien, not forgetting Boorhanool Movement’s perennial Boeka Treats, which are bestsellers in SA households, regardless of race, creed and language. Let’s focus on our shared food traditions ranging from bobotie to sosatie, from Orania’s koeksusters to Bo- Kaap’s koesisters,” he urged.

Another ex-pat, Salwaa of Cape Malay Cooking who is based in the UK had quite a bit to say. “I always thought bobotie was a Malay dish brought with the slaves from Java and Indonesia etc. Since starting my blog, I did lots of research into authentic Cape Malay recipes and all the articles I came across was of the notion that bobotie is a Cape Malay dish which came with slaves who arrived from Java and various Indonesian islands in 1658. Being slaves, the Malays often ended up in the Dutch kitchens and their influence remains apparent in dishes such as bobotie etc.

“The origins of the name are not clear although in Indonesia ‘bobotok’ was an Indonesian dish consisting of meat with a custard topping that was cooked in a pan of water until the egg mixture set. It’s also one of those dishes that reflects the history of the country and the many cuisines that melts together to create what we now know as South African cuisine. Bobotie is a Cape-Malay creation, and they (the Malays) spiced it up even more with cumin, coriander and cloves, with influences from the Dutch who brought ground meat to the local cuisine, the spices were introduced by the slaves from Indonesia and the presentation is reminiscent of English shepherd’s pie.

“It’s interesting as well to note that frikadel is a popular dish in Germany (they even make kool frikadel I believe) and Holland amongst other countries. Frikadel is also known in Indonesian cuisine through Dutch influence as ‘perkedel’. I believe the spiciness of bobotie came from the Indonesians who brought the spices with them. This is one of the reasons I started my food blog, to keep our food culture alive and to make the recipes accessible to all. Otherwise who knows, we might have more of these debates regarding our other cultural dishes in the future,” she wrote. VOC (Munadia Karaan)

Last modified onThursday, 27 June 2013 08:06
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About Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights

Cape Malay Home Cooking made easy. The Muslim community has also had a large influence on the cooking of South Africa. Cape Malay cuisine is delicious. It usually consists of a combination of fruit, spices, vegetables and meat. Using my cooking know how to inspire everyone to cook the food they love. Here you will find tried and tested simple and delicious recipes for relaxed home cooking that go far beyond baking. From easy soups and roasts to delicious breads, deserts, stews, etc… All the recipes seen here are prepared in my kitchen with photos taken by my family and me. So please don’t expect professional photography or styling, it’s just the way we have our meals on a normal day! My motto is: "Give a man a plate of food and you've fed him for the day. Teach a man to cook and you feed him for a lifetime" - Cape Malay Cooking & Other Delights Facebook@www.facebook.com/capemalaycooking https://capemalaycooking.wordpress.com/ https://twitter.com/CapeMalayCooks www.youtube.com/capemalaycooking

Posted on 27/06/2013, in General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Bobotie: A typical boer food
    The cuisine serves an important role in the characterization of any culture, as it could not be a Boer-Afrikaner culture also has a dish associated to culture – The Bobotie
    The Bobotie consists of spicy minced meat with egg bathed. Initially it was made ​​with a mixture of mutton and pork but is now also made ​​with beef or lamb. You can also take other ingredients such as dried fruit, raisins, lemon.
    The first recipe for Bobotie is dated 1609 and was taken by the Dutch settlers and developed over time. There are so many variants and Bobotie recipes found Boer settlers in various countries such as Argentina (Chubut), Zambia, Botswana, Kenya etc.

    Here there is one of dozens récipes of Bobotie:https://afrikanerway.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/bobotie-a-typical-boer-food/

  2. Looking forward to peruse the chapter ‘ “Kitchen Language”: Islam and the Culture of Food in South Africa’ of this new book “Regarding Muslims : from Slavery to post-Apartheid “(Wits University Press, 2014) by awarding winning poetess, Gabeba BADEROON. http://witspress.co.za/catalogue/regarding-muslims/

  3. Claassens se ondersoek na die slawe se koskultuur in die 17de eeu het getoon persepsies dat die slawe die kuns om met speserye te kook en geregte soos bobotie daarmee te berei, op geen gronde berus nie.”Uit die gebiede waaruit die slawe gekom het, het die armes nie met speserye gekook nie. Speserye in hul kos was meestal beperk tot rissies, borrie en gemmer.”

    Die slawe het geen nuwe geregte na die Kaap gebring nie, lui Claassens se navorsing. Inteendeel, hulle het die speserye-kookkuns en al die geregte wat volgens kosskrywers na die Kaap gebring is, aan die Kaap kom leer ken. http://152.111.11.6/argief/berigte/volksblad/2004/04/22/VB/4k/04.html

  4. erfeniskos – die storie – deel 3

    By niël stemmet

    hoemeer ek lees, hoemeer leer ek .

    ‘n vriendin van my lizette, stuur al die pad van phuket vir my ‘n afskrif van die tesis, van mev hw claassens wat in 2003 haar doktorgraad verwerf het aan die universiteit van pretoria. mev claassens het haar eie teorie waar boerekos vandaan kom , of soos ons vandag erfeniskos roep in die geskiedenis van boerekos 1652 -1806

    sy verduidelik waar die woord boerekos vandaan kom : die eerste afrikaners aan die kaap was bekend as vryburgers . die africaanders van europese afkoms is boere geroep omdat hulle groente en vrugte gekweek het vir die handelsstasie – met die tyd saam is die kos wat hulle aan tafel geeet het boerekos genoem oftewel boer-se-kos

    volgens haar eet ons van meet af nederlands en alles wat nederlandse kos bekend was voor . sy se dat jan van riebeeck die handelstasie aan kaap gestig het juis om die speseryhandel met die ooste te versterk – ek onthou dit ook uit geskiedenis – en dat die nederlanders dus reeds bekend was aan die speserye van die ooste. sy se ook dat die maleiers, as slawe, aant huise van die nederlanders leer kook het, dit maak ook sin, maar ek sal se dat soos in enige kosgeskiedenis moes daar darem ‘n mate van bestuiwing plaasgevind het

    erfeniskos het dus twee paaie, die elite en die gewone mense se manier van kook, gelukkig is ek gespeen op laasgenoemde se kos en kultuur

    http://soutenpeper.com/2010/10/09/erfeniskos-die-storie-deel-3/

  5. Huiskos, Uithangkos – Ons Boerekos Isabella1 :- Daar was al groot bekgevegte onder koskenners en geskiedkundiges oor die oorsprong van eg Suid-Afrikaanse kos of Boerekos. Ons kan vandag die verkorte weergawe lees (513 bladsye!) van H.W Claassens se tesis “Die Geskiedenis van Boerekos 1652 tot 1806” . In hierdie werk verduidelik sy van die koskultuur van die Europeërs wat hulself aan die Kaap gevestig het en hoe hul eetgewoontes deel van hul nasate gebly het. Daar was daardie tyd al van “Boerekos” gepraat wanneer daar na die kos wat aan die Kaap geëet is verwys is. Dit was toe reeds ʼn mengelmoes van Frans, Hollands, Maleis, Indies, Chinees om maar ʼn paar te noem. Dit het nooit opgehou nie en vandag is ons ewe tuis met invloede vanuit Portugal, Italië, Griekeland, Duitsland, die Nguni en die Sotho.
    http://www.woes.co.za/bydrae/rubriek/huiskos-uithangkos-ons-boerekos

  6. FOOD: Original Cape cuisine – any time of year by PENNY HAW, August 08 2012, 08:28 Van Deventer-Terblanche worked closely with historian and author of Die Geskiedenis Van Boerekos, Hester Claassens. They gathered old recipes, cooking methods and information on ingredients, much of which had almost been forgotten.

    Claassens confirmed the historical facts and science thereof …???? And if, like me, you’ve always wondered who had a glass of Tassies too many and decided to crown bobotie SA ‘s “national dish”, it’s worth trying the traditional recipe detailed in the book. The old way is better than any other I’ve tried…..
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/articles/2012/05/04/food-original-cape-cuisine—any-time-of-year;jsessionid=A9AA3220F9A7E79942835CC74D987F1E.present1.bdfm

  7. Story on a Plate: Bobotie by Victoria Burrows PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 12:00am [Bobotie, a curried beef dish topped with egg custard, is likely to have originated in Jakarta. Photo: Mount Nelson hotel] Cape Malay cuisine is a South African fusion of the tastes of Asia and Europe, and any visit to the Rainbow Nation is richer for sampling an item from this history-laden repertoire of dishes….Sweet and spicy bobotie, curried beef topped with egg custard, is a meeting of East and West. Bobotie is likely to have originated in what is now Jakarta, with the name being taken from an Indonesian dish called bobotok – shredded coconut, bay leaves and other ingredients including vegetables and fish wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
    …..Reuben Riffel, one of South Africa’s most lauded chefs and a Western Cape native, says that while the transformation of the dish from bobotok to bobotie is not documented, bobotie came about as slaves from the region would eat roast meat on Sundays, and the following day, leftovers would be mixed with spices including bay leaves and sometimes fruits such as raisins. An egg mixture would then be poured over the top, and the dish would be baked and served with rice and vegetables. Copyright © 2013 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
    http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-wine/article/1098128/story-plate-bobotie

  8. Sociology of South African Cuisine: reply : It seems that Cape Malay cuisine consisted of ‘high brow cuisine’ that was prepared for the slave master, his family and visitors, whilst remnants of ‘economical dishes’ such as ” carrots & peas (stew)” [ i.e. “wortel en ertjie bredie” for use at funerals as custom dictates] are still reflected in various local South African cookery books on Cape Malay .
    http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=h-safrica&month=0211&week=a&msg=vY8XJUzrkhnKE90zq1oe7Q&user&pw

  9. Tasty fusions of cuisines – Canada.com

    Question:

    Fusion — what does this term mean when used in reference to menus, cooking or restaurants? Is it a new phenomenon or just a new name for something that’s been around a long time?

    Sylvia Walsh, Victoria

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    Eric’s Answer:

    When the term “fusion” is used in cooking, it’s referring to the combination of ingredients and techniques from different cuisines. Fusion cooking is often considered a fairly modern idea that’s been around just a few decades, but the truth is people have been fusing cuisines together for centuries.

    There are many examples of this, and many simmered to life when folks migrated from one part of the world to another, not always of their own choosing.

    In the 17th century, slaves brought from Jakarta to South Africa, during that country’s Dutch occupation, created a dish called bobotie (boh-BOH-tee). It looks not unlike shepherd’s pie, but with a golden egg topping, not a mashed potato one.

    The Dutch East India Company traded spices in Cape Town and those slaves, who eventually became a Muslim ethnic group called Cape Malay, used them to create a version of a dish they made at home called bobotok. Of course, being in South Africa, they had to use ingredients available to them there, such as lamb, dried fruit and, of course, those spices.

    Oct 25, 2009 – In the 17th century, slaves brought from Jakarta to South Africa, during that country’s Dutch occupation, created a dish called bobotie …

    http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=2143301‎

  10. 2. Story on a Plate: Bobotie | South China Morning Post Dec 6, 2012 –
    Bobotie is likely to have originated in what is now Jakarta with the name being taken from an Indonesian dish called bobotok – shredded …

    http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-wine/article/1098128/story-plate-bobotie‎

  11. JAKARTA POST : “Bobotie’s Melting Pot” by Theodora Hurustiati | Feature | Sun, November 10 2013, Most of us are probably unaware that one of South Africa’s favorite dishes has an Indonesian connection. Bobotie’s origin is believed to be Indonesian, precisely, Javanese. http://www.thejakartapost.com/…/bobotie-s-melting-pot.html

  12. Presenting Bo-Kaap Kitchen by Craig Fraser
    by Libby on Oct 28th, 2013
    Book Title :”Bo-Kaap Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and True Stories” by Craig Fraser
    More than just a cookbook – part photo journal, part historical
    document, part culinary journey into the homes of the people of the
    Bo-Kaap, celebrating a uniquely South African culture.
    Through personal stories, recipes, historical images and Craig
    Fraser’s beautiful visuals, Bo-Kaap Kitchen reveals the heart of the
    Cape Malay people, their history and identity, distinctive
    architecture and language. The warmth and character of the people
    shine through as they share their stories about cooking, family bonds
    and strong faith.
    Residents of the Bo-Kaap are descendants of some of the first people
    to settle at the Cape, mostly descendants of slaves brought here from
    as diverse places as Ceylon, India, Indonesia, Java, Malaysia, North
    Africa, East Africa and Madagascar. Many of these slaves were sought
    after for their skilled labour and excellent craftsmanship.
    A large part of the book is devoted to the significance of food, which
    is so central to the culture. Rites of passage, pilgrimages, prayers
    for newborns and the deceased, breaking the fast during Ramadan,
    engagements, weddings, all are celebrated with meals that are shared
    in this closely knit community.
    Book details
    Bo-Kaap Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and True Stories by Craig Fraser

    EAN: 9780987028464
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
    tags: Bo-Kaap, Bo-Kaap Kitchen, Craig Fraser, English, Food, Heritage
    Recipes and True Stories, Lifestyle, Maggie Mouton, Non-fiction,
    Quivertree, Quivertree Publications, South Africa
    Quick URL
    http://quivertree.bookslive.co.za/blog/2013/10/28/presenting-bo-kaap-kitchen-by-craig-fraser/

  13. PeterJames-Smith

    Apparently a variation of ‘bobotie’ was Richard the Lionheart’s favourite food. Just another example of the effect of the crusades on Western Cuisine.

  14. MOLO XAPE TOWN “A melting pot” by Alam Viviers | Cape Town Partnership
    Mogamat “Kammie” Kamedien
    Heritage activist and researcher on South African slave history

    ’n Mengelmoes; a melting pot; a real masala – our culinary heritage is a wondrous mix of cultures, flavours and influences. Molo chats to a heritage activist, a food technologist and a food historian about what typical South African food is.

    “Dishes like bobotie have become a world on a plate. They allow us to explore our culinary connections and reflect on Cape Town’s position as a cross-cultural bridge between the Atlantic and Indian oceans, apart from also being the gateway into Africa. The Batavian cultural food legacy at the Cape of Good Hope is sometimes forgotten or overlooked, but Cape Town was an outpost of the VOC with its administrative heart in the Dutch East Indies or contemporary Jakarta, Indonesia. http://www.capetownpartnership.co.za/a-melting-pot/

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