September has become one of my favourite months. Besides it being a new season, it’s a month that allows us to celebrate South African cuisine. I do have a gripe, though, with Heritage Day being rebranded as Braai Day because there’s so much more to South African cuisine than a braai.
I interviewed award-winning cookbook author and chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu about her book, Through the Eyes of an African Chef, a few years ago. She said there was a lack of knowledge about the history and development of our cuisine and she explored SA food and found new ways of cooking it. From amadumbe gnocchi to baobab dessert.
“The wealth of knowledge needs to be passed on to educate us and generations to come. We have so much to celebrate through our food and share proudly with the world.”
And this is what we have done in this edition. It’s a celebration of our cuisine – from township specials (gatsby, kota, bunny chow) to desserts, and of course, the most epic braai spread to suit everyone’s dietary requirements. Want to make your own sorghum beer or gemere? We show you how. And craving some vetkoek? Then we have the perfect recipe to get them nice and fluffy. This edition of FOOD is an issue I would like to think could be a collector’s item. It’s the one you’ll keep coming back to and will, hopefully, encourage you to try out other culture’s foods. There are many recipes included that will truly expand what we mean when we talk about South African cuisine. Let us celebrate our diversity this Heritage Month. Enjoy it and please share. Let’s get cooking! – Buhle Mbonambi