So you’re hungry and out exploring Cape Town with just enough time to hit the supermarket for some classic Cape Tonian snacks. What to try?? How about:
1. Biltong aka dried meat of some animal. Some people prefer it to jerky, others find it too tough. Variations on the theme include droewors and biltong strips. Popular animals are kudu, beef, ostrich, springbok. Don’t know how it tastes, I’m a vegetarian.
2. Koeksisters- the Afrikaans variety is best described and twisted pieces of fried dough in a rich honey/syrupy sauce. The Cape Malay is more like a soft doughnut without the hole in a syrupy sauce and flaked coconut. Yum!
3. Milk Tart- a custardy “pie” with a milk based filling. Sort of similar to a Portuguese or Chinese egg tart.
4. Polony- hot pink unidentified meat in a plastic wrapper tube. Think SPAM. Often popularly served on bread with hot chips (fries) and other versions of “gatsbys.” Eight years on and I still shudder.
5. Chips/crisps- okay, so these aren’t particularly South African but they are all over the place. Simba brand has horrific sounding very South African flavours such as “Snoek and Atchar,” “Vetkoek and Chips.” The incredibly healthy make a meal out of chips by shoving a handful in a white hamburger roll for the (ever creatively titled) “chip roll.” The even healthier version of hot chips (fries) in a roll is also called a chip roll. And you thought Americans were unhealthy.
6. Samoosas, half moons, and mini pies- the Cape Malay influence is present in many Cape Town communities; you can usually find these finger snacks available in most supermarkets and corner cafes.
7. Wine- yup, you’re in wine country. Good, cheap wine accompanied by fresh bread and cheese. Classy snacking.