A friend requested that I post more about the food I’m eating. Here are a few of my favorites so far:
Top-right: Fruit chutney crisps. I discovered these at the Tyrone Fruiterer in Parkview, which has become my favorite place to food-shop. (Despite the awesome name, they sell more than just fruit.) These crisps are basically kettle potato chips that taste like mango chutney. Interestingly there is no fruit listed in the ingredients, just garlic powder, onion powder, and “herbs and spices.” When I bought them, Joe said I was on my own because he doesn’t like crisps. He had a change of heart when he tried one. We’ve put away half the bag in the last 24 hours.
In can (top photo): Red Grapetiser. Joe first introduced me to Grapetiser on a road trip from Joburg to Swaziland two years ago. I was skeptical; I don’t like fruit soda and expected it to taste like Orange Crush. I was so wrong — Grapetiser is sparkling red deliciousness. It’s real juice, slightly carbonated. I drink one every day with lunch.
Bottom right (top photo): Biltong. A fresher, classier version of beef jerky, invented by the Dutch settlers who came here in the 1600s. Biltong is made from beef sirloin that is cut up and rubbed with salt, pepper, and other spices, then hung up to dry and sliced on demand. It gets chewy on the outside but the inside is still moist. It lasts for days. I know it looks and sounds gross but trust me, it’s addictive.
Meat counter at the Fruiterer. The biltong is hanging on the right. To the left isdroewors, a South African sausage that is served either fresh or dried. We bought some of the dried stuff but I haven’t worked up the courage to try it yet.
In frying pan (top photo): Haloumi and sweet peppers. I’ve had haloumi a couple of times before but today was the first time I prepared it at home. It comes in a big hunk and the type I bought is flavored with herbs. I invented my own recipe — put it in a frying pan with olive oil, sliced peppers, and sea salt. The cheese started to get mushy until Joe suggested I raise the heat. Then it turned out perfectly browned. Yummy on toast. Note: It is not tasty at all when it’s uncooked.
Last favorite food item (not pictured because I ate them all): Crimson raisins. I couldn’t find them at the Fruiterer — as far as I can tell they are sold only at Woolworths. Plump, sweet, larger than regular raisins. About the same color as red Grapetiser. They are so much better than shriveled purple Sun-Maids. Even better than golden raisins, my usual faves. I need to go back to Woolworths and buy about 10 packets of them.
Our last dining experience of the day was at Sahib, the Indian restaurant in Melville. It’s much more authentic than Indian restaurants back home, which makes sense — there are tons of Indians in South Africa and we’re much closer to India here. We had Aloo Gobi Matar — potatoes, peas and cauliflower in a spicy cilantro sauce — and lamb vindaloo with butter naan. We were the only customers in the restaurant and the waiter seemed sad to see us go.
Eating out is cheap here, by the way. We never seem to spend more than about $25.