South Africa - Culinary Travel Overview
A 17th Century quest for spices by the ancient Dutch East India Company is the genesis of South Africa’s rich, diverse cuisine. They planted a farm in Cape Town to replenish the ship’s larders at the journey’s half-way point, and brought in slaves from Malay whose foodways greatly influenced South African cooking styles. The French Huguenots came and planted vineyards and sugar farmers brought indentured laborers from India. Together with a stream of German and British immigrants, they contributed to an evolving cuisine that included the black communities’ diet of game, fish, root vegetables, greens, berries, sorghum and maize. Today, South Africa’s food and wine culture reflects centuries of intermingling ethnicities and flavors.
Set below the magnificent Table Mountain and anchored by a stunning coastline, Cape Town is a beautiful, cosmopolitan city with a dynamic working harbor. Culinary travelers delight in the gorgeous fresh fish and seafood, wild game and the discovery of its signature Cape Malay cuisine. An exploration of the its historic and brilliantly colored Bo-Kaap neighborhood is a treat for all the senses and a cooking safari – the neighborhood’s unique riff on a culinary walking tour - is a must. Foodies can follow their guide and their noses through the slopping cobblestone streets scented with ginger, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon, and shop for produce and spices. An informal hands-on workshop provides instruction on how to make traditional dishes like Masala, the delicate Cape Malay curry and to artfully fold Samoosas. All while learning how food, history and religion are intertwined in the Bo-Kapp culture.
Centuries old wine estates, this was the region where the French Huguenots planted vines over 350 years ago, and wines with a growing world-class reputation draw oenophiles from far and wide to come, taste and enjoy. The Stellenboch wine route boasts over 130 wineries and a spectacular panorama. Foodies make a pilgrimage to the historic and charming town of Franschoek, considered to South Africa’s culinary capital. Chockfull with an amazing choice of restaurants where food and wine are artfully paired, the Winelands’ bustling colorful markets and unique opportunities for cooking lessons make it even more visit-worthy.
Contact us for more information on culinary travel to Cape Town and the Winelands. These destinations pair beautifully pre or post with a safari.
We are pleased to partner with the following companies and book your safari in conjucntion with your culinary travel arrangments.
Abercrombie & Kent
Gilt Edge Africa