Current Health 2, November 2003
By Dee Murphy, R.D., L.D.
South Africa is home to many different cultures. For instance, in one part of the country, Great Britain influences people’s tastes and manners. In other parts of the country, Portuguese, Jewish, Dutch, French, Indonesian, or Malay customs may dominate.
Some favorite foods include bobotie (meatloaf with curry), vegetables prepared with butter and sugar, koeksusters (fried twirled dough dipped in syrup), and biltong (dried salted meat). South Africans also eat elephant and Mopani worms, but tourists seldom do. Maye Musk, a registered dietitian in private practice in South Africa for 20 years before she moved to North America, says that she loves the traditional African food. “Puthu pap, a stiff cornmeal porridge that is served with meat, tomato, and onion sauce, is delicious,” says Musk. “It tastes very much like polenta [mush] but is white and looks like mashed potato. Because many Africans are lactose intolerant, the cooks are very happy when milk goes sour. Then it can be used to make sour puthu pap.”