Once again, the year has sped by with witblitz speed. Heritage Day is due to rumble around again, and South Africans based at home and abroad are gearing up to celebrate their unique diversity, culture, and South African-ness! And what better way to do this than with a lekker braai?
The glue that keeps us together
The South African braai is quite possibly the glue that holds our diverse nation together. It’s the one activity that ALL South Africans enjoy, and for a good reason. Who can say that there is anything better than a smokey thorn wood fire under the glow of a South African sunset?
Picture the scene. The fire burning under the evening sky, Cicada beetles chirping, the gentle caw of the Hadeda (haa-dee-daa), okay, maybe more like ear splitting! But like the braai, they’re part of our culture, and you get the point. A braai is a relaxing interlude in our busy lives that brings family, friends, neighbours, and about twenty cousins you didn’t know you had together!
Pukka saffa’s know that Heritage Day is a day for celebrating our unique cultures, beliefs, and traditions, which gel to make us one of the most diverse nations in the world. However, for those who need a more detailed explanation of the Heritage Day South Africa meaning, check out the below interesting facts surrounding the tradition of celebrating this day.
- Celebrated on the 24 September each year – mark it in the calendar!
- Originally known as Shaka Day in commemoration of King Shaka, the Zulu king of Southern Africa
- 2005 Jan Scannell (Jan Braai) started a media campaign to rename Heritage Day to National Braai Day
- 2007 Archbishop Desmond Tutu was named the official patron of South Africa’s braai day
- 2008 South Africa’s National Heritage Council endorsed the name change to Braai Day
In the words of the late Braai Day patron himself, Heritage Day South Africa is a ‘fantastic thing.’
“We’re going to have this wonderful thing on the 24th of this month… when we all gather round one fire…It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam [‘we do this thing together’]… just South Africans doing one thing together, and recognising that we are a fantastic nation.” – Tutu
South African braai recipes
All this talk of braais and why we do them has left us rather peckish, which means it’s time to whip out the braai tongs and aprons and discuss some delicious braai recipes. After all, Braai Day wouldn’t be Braai Day without some tasty braai resepte to put on that thorn wood fire!
Instead of providing one or two braai recipes for your Braai Day menu, we, the FinGlobal team, have collated some proper braai ideas to create the ultimate braai spread. Let’s get those creative braai juices flowing!
First starters, try this delicious recipe for ‘pot brood on braai’, courtesy of season twos’ Great S.A Bake off’ presenter and chef Lentswe Bhengu. All you need is a few basic ingredients from good old PnP (Pick n Pay), a heavy-based cast iron pot, and of course, a well-made fire!
Nothing says Africa quite like a dollop of traditional chakalaka. This Woolworth’s recipe calls for green aioli, delicious chakalaka butter, one whole spatchcock chicken, and your trusty braai grid! Pop into Woolies soon and grab everything you need for this succulent main braai dish.
This tasty side dish could quite easily be a dessert, but it makes a gorgeous melt-in-your-mouth side dish capable of adding the wow factor needed for every Heritage Day braai! Made with sweet potatoes (that bit is obvious!), evaporated milk and ginger nut biscuits, this dish is yum-a-licious baked on the braai grid. Thanks to the South African and recipe owner Melissa Jacobs, your Braai Day braai just got a whole lot tastier.
Because everyone’s sweet tooth is a little different, we couldn’t decide which desserts to pick for the ultimate Braai Day spread. But, thanks to The Gardner, you now have three to choose from if you have space after munching all that delicious food. Your choices are traditional bread and butter pud, baked banana and marshmallows or hot braai peaches and ice cream.
Planning the ultimate Braai Day spread is one that all South Africans enjoy, and we realise there’s a lot to plan when getting together for a lekker kuier. Don’t forget to add salad, corn on the cob, chips, dips, beers and ice to your shopping list! Why do we always forget the ice? That’s another blog for another day!
We hope from the recipes above; you can see just how diverse and inclusive the South African Culture is, allowing outside influence, traditions and cultures to affect the tasty foods we eat on the holy grail of all – the braai! From the FinGlobal team, we wish the Rainbow Nation a very happy, sunny and delicious Braai Day!
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