South Africa's coastline blesses the country with superb seafood. A good climate and fertile soil provides a variety of vegetables and agricultural products, though the country's gastronomy is heavily starch and meat based. In fact, braai, or barbecue, goes beyond cuisine and is more about social tradition than food.
Because of its history, South African cuisine is truly multicultural. Foreign influences by the Portuguese, Dutch, English, Malaysians, Indians and French mixed with native culinary traditions. Boerewors, hand-made grilled sausages made with beef, pork, coriander and vinegar, is one example of Dutch influence. Bobotie, a curried meat casserole, has Malaysian origins. Indian samosas are a popular snack food. Some dishes have true African roots; pap is a dish made with maize, similar to polenta. Biltong, is a type of dried, salted meat and Chakalaka, a spicy dish consisting of tomatoes, beans and onions was born in the townships.
Adventurous eaters might want to try restaurants that offer game such as crocodile, impala and warthog. The truly adventurous might seek out local dining opportunities such as fried caterpillars or sheep heads.
Although South Africa has been producing wine for some time, only recently has it received true recognition for its wines. It was the Dutch, followed by the French, who started cultivating vineyards in the southern part of the country where the climate and topography are the best match to those of traditional wine producing countries. Chenin blanc is the most widely planted varietal.