I remember the exciting days when "ethnic" restaurants finally appeared in Toronto in the 70s. And we finally got past the idea that 'spaghetti' was ethnic. Our family would eagerly choose a restaurant just for the experience of finding out how Greek or Mexican, Indonesian or Central American food tasted. Sushi became a favourite for some of us. My love of eating out and trying new foods must have been a pleasant surprise for my mother who suffered through my picky eater stage as a young child!
All of this preamble is a set up to introduce you to a list of World Cup Recipes I found at iAfrica. There is a common national dish for each of the more than 30 teams participating in the first round. They range from the expected pavovla from Australia, cheese fondue (Switzerland), paella (Spain) to the weirdly named "bare bottoms in the grass" from the Netherlands and "toad-in-the-hole" from England.
I had fun reading through the recipes and some of them looked interesting enough to try... (note to the Americans, the recipes are all in metric).
Some of the 'quirky foods from South Africa', however might curb some of my enthusiasm for local cuisine...
Mopane worms: Protein-packed caterpillars eaten dried or fried until crunchy. Often served in a tomato sauce
Walkie talkies: Cooked chicken feet and heads. The feet are also known as "runaways".
Smilies: Sheep heads par-cooked and roasted with the heat exposing the sheep's teeth into a grin or smile. Usually found at taxi ranks and downtown city markets
Ulusu: A stew of animal stomachs
Umqombothi: Traditional grain-brewed beer. Milky in appearance with a yeasty, sour taste
then again, I would definitely try these, along with some Rooibos: indigenous "red bush" tea, a popular caffeine-free beverage...
Bobotie: Spiced, fruity minced meat baked with egg custard on top. A Cape Malay dish believed to have roots in the East Indies slaves brought by Dutch colonists
Melktert: "Milk tart" sprinkled with cinnamon. Also popular is malva pudding - a spongy cake-like dessert
Vetkoek/ Amagwinya: Balls of deep fried bread dough. Served plain as street food but also can have sweet or savoury fillings
oh, wait. I see the trend........