On my last night in South Africa, I stayed with a friend in Pretoria. There, I enjoyed a proper South African braai (BBQ). What a treat!
South African Braai – The Superlative BBQ Experience
South Africans take barbecues to a whole new level, creating an entire experience around the grill. My host has a lovely house in Pretoria and invited me to spend my final night there, so that I could enjoy a real South African dinner.
Using special wood as well as charcoal, he got the fire started and then served several delicious varieties of biltong and droëwors while we were waiting (as if we needed a meat appetizer before our meat dinner!). An essential part of a braai is that you stand around the fire and chat as the host cooks the meat.
While I sometimes had to pivot to avoid smoke, it was a crisp, cool evening, though the heat of the fire warmed us up as we stood chatting with a cold beverage around the grill.
Braai is an Afrikaans word, drawn from the Dutch word “braden,” meaning “to roast.”
“Jy krap nie aan ‘n ander man se vuur nie!” (“You don’t mess around with another man’s fire!”)
There is no defined meat that must be used for a braai: any meat is acceptable, though we stuck a trio of meat for our dinner, including boerewors (sausage), lamb, and beef. Every bite was delicious, as were the sides it was served with (bread, corn on the cob, salad).
This journey marked my fifth trip to South Africa, but my first time enjoying a braai. Now I know what to request next time. The entire experience, from the conversation around the grill to the appetizer to the feast itself was something very special.
Do you have any experince with a braai in South Africa?