Know your nation: Everything you want to know about boerewors

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Today’s extract is about boerewors.

South African cuisine is a melting pot of the many cultures that have lived side by side on the continent for the past 500 years. Different styles of cooking have emerged from this cross-pollination of traditions, and boerewors is a good example of how different cultures came together to produce what has become a classic South African food.

When the Dutch and English first arrived in the country, they introduced the common sausage to the continent, but boerewors evolved from recipes brought to Africa by German immigrants.

Traditionally, boerewors should consist of at least two-thirds beef and one-third pork, with some sheep’s tail fat mixed in for a juicy texture. But not all boerewors recipes have to follow this rule. As long as it is made from beef, pork or lamb, or is a mixture of these meats, it can be called boerewors.

Boerewors is taken so seriously that there are yearly competitions to see who can make the best, and many different flavours – from curry wors to peri peri wors or pretty much any flavour you can imagine – vie for the top spot.

Boerewors has become deeply rooted in South African culture. In the same way that the original German recipe combined with Dutch and English sausage to make something unique, so that tradition continues to this day with “pap en wors”, boerewors served with a traditional African maize porridge topped with tomato and onion sauce.

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