The joy of supermarkets – South Africa
I can never resist checking out a foreign supermarket. I love to discover the novelties found in a different country. Not only the food but also the none food items on sale. The Netherlands (where I am from) hardly offers anything but food for instance. Go to other countries and you can buy a complete wardrobe or supplies for a farm.
These were my finds in a supermarket in South Africa:
When on one of my safari’s I have to cook for about 20 people every day. So I know my supermarkets in Southern Africa well! I even slowly start to understand the “logic” behind the lay out of the shops.
Here are some of my favourite products in a South African supermarket:
First stop when I haven’t been in South Africa for a while is a place that sells biltong. Biltong is a form of dried, cured meat. (Not to be confused with American Jerky. That is much sweeter.) It can be beef but also any type of game meat. In general I prefer real fresh biltong over supermarket pre-packed bitlong but in case of need it’ll do.
Bobotie is one of my favourite dishes and I never leave the country without a few bags of seasoning. I even have to hide them from some family members. It is a very flavourable dish made with spiced minced meat and an egg-based topping. Try it whenever you get the opportunity and bring some of these bags home!
Cordial! You might think of a lemonade to make for children but Cordials are found in every bar in the region. When you see it in a bar ask the bartender what he can do with it. An easy addition to your gin or a elaborate cocktail. Cordial makes a difference!
It is not only nice to mix with alcohol but the lemon or passionfruit are ideal to brighten up your sparkling water on a hot day.
Check their website to get some inspiration on what to do with cordial.
One of South Africans favourite past time is to have a “braai” or barbeque. And for that reason there is always an isle in the supermarket for braai- related articles. Some brandnames are so strong that people call the item by that brandname even if someone else produces it. If someone asks you to hand him/her “the Blitz” give them the firestarters.
And they like thing hot in south Africa. You probably have heard of the famous peri peri sauces? I am personally not a fan. I like to taste what I am eating instead of having flames coming out of my ears…
I do love Chutney. And with that I mean the real chutney. Mrs Balls chutney!
You put it in warm dishes like Bobotie, top your hamburger with it or mix it with mushrooms…. So many things can be done with chutney and Mrs Balls is the one and only!
And this is one items that I would like to see in every supermarket in the world!!
And I seriously do not understand why they have shelves and shelves full of this stuff all over Southern Africa and I cannot find it in a supermarket in the Netherlands.
This is the ultimate perfect base for almost anything!!! Pre canned tomato & union mix!!!
These are two vegetables that I like and have a hard time finding in Dutch shops. The butternut I can find at times ( the orange bottle shaped pumpkin) but gem squash (green pumpkin balls) I have never seen in a supermarket at home.
And now just one thing from the non-food section. Trying to find shower gel in South Africa?? You might as well give up or be very happy if they have one bottle on the shelves. Do you remember soap??? Yep! That is what you use to wash yourself with!
This was just a small section of the things “different” in a South African supermarket. There is way more to discover. I can recommend you to always add a visit to a supermarket to your to-do list on your travels. And take your time to discover new things!