I was looking through a few other blogger’s latest posts which is a habit formed over my blogging travels. I usually don’t delete ‘like’ notifications and then when I have a bit of free time I visit each blogger’s pages to read and reciprocate likes.
I had no idea how I was going to approach this challenge. I’d contemplated skipping it this week because I have so many other on-goings but after seeing Livvy’s take on things and then going off to visit Pat’s blog when I realised blogging was the means for us to see and experience culture at the ordinary level.
Culture is such an emotive topic. What is it really? Things we find strange are actually quite normal for others. Imagine the death rituals important to so many folk across the globe… imagine the strange foods eaten by some and scorned by others.
These days we don’t need to be rich to experience different cultures. All we need to do is blog. Following other blogs is not only entertaining but also informative. I love seeing how distant folk interpret life around them. Blogging gives us a glimpse of the real culture… real people doing what comes naturally, wherever they are on the planet. No contrived touristy shows.
OK, all that said, what do I show you as a photo? I know just the correct flavour for the day. Something that cries identity is usually the food of a tribe or nation. Look at the results of any diaspora… the recipes these travelers take with them eventually becomes assimilated in the new environment. This is our 13th year in Ireland yet we still crave the food of South Africa. So much so that I’m now experimenting with making my own traditional SA dishes.
One dish that is almost more South African than the flag or the protea is boerewors! Sausage. Simple, succulent, satisfying, savoury sausage. Many folk have their take on the matter but fundamentally the process developed as the hinterland of South Africa was opened up in the 19th century.
The origins are as divers, or restrictive, as the folk who made those initial forays into the interior but as venison and beef were the most abundant meats available that is where the emphasis developed. Predominantly beef these days.
I think it’s the spices that make it distinctive. Roasted coriander and cloves together with salt, black pepper and a few other things such as brown sugar, vinegar, water or red wine form the core ingredients of something unforgettable. OK… enough of a lesson. How does one culture’s habits transfer to another land?
One example… this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Kilcock saw me doing the boerewors rolls for the first time. A really special honour. Yes, we sold out in not much more than an hour or so. Testament of how the taste has become known in the area. I’m often asked about the availability of the sausage and as the product that we’ve been using in the last few years comes from quite far away I am developing our own taste. I will add, the boerewors we’ve become accustomed to is really great. However, practicality has forced me to investigate my own option.
Wow… from not going to do a post for this week’s challenge I have digressed in all sorts of directions… from blogging to wors and the idea of a great braai with friends. The next best thing to a bit of physical cultural cross-pollination is sharing blogging friendship… my way! No… not that fellow’s way, my way… over hot coals, savouring the taste of South Africa, even here in far away Ireland…