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Saturday, April 10, 2010
With my world travels just 2 months away (today!) I have started looking more seriousley into my eating options while on the move.
Asia will be easy. Loads of veggies, fried rice and keeping to Buddhist style restaurants will ensure that I keep to my diet. I have learned how to say “I am allergic to eggs, milk and fish” and “I am a vegetarian” in Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, Khmer and Cantonese.
Africa is where I had been told that my issues would arise.
However, from my Goggling, I have been able to find out the following and my mind has been set at ease:
Fruits and vegetables in southern Africa include bananas, pineapples, pau-pau (papaya), mangoes, avocadoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, and cabbage. Nonetheless, the traditional meal in southern Africa is centered on a staple crop, usually rice or maize, served with a stew. The most common dish made from cornmeal is called mealie meal, or pap in South Africa. Also known as nshima or nsima further north, it is usually eaten with stew poured over it. The stew may include a few boiled vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, or turnips, or on more special occasions, fish, beans, or chicken.
Ok so that sounds good …
But we cannot forget the Braai:
Braai, which is Afrikaans for "barbecue" or "roast" and is a social custom in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In addition to meat being the main focus, the other main part of the meal is pap (pronounced /pɑːp/, meaning porridge), and is actually a thickened porridge, or the krummelpap ("crumb porridge"), both of which are traditionally eaten with the meat. Made from finely ground corn/maize (similar to polenta), it is a staple of local African communities and may be eaten with a tomato and onion sauce, monkeygland sauce (a type of South Africian BBQ sauce) or the more spicy chakalaka.
P’s family in Pretoria was so excited that we were coming that they immediately organized a braai … but we had yet to drop the E-Bomb on them. So with that in mind P mentioned that I was vegan and as I awaited the gasps of horror and shock, I was pleasantly surprised by their accommodating reply “Well we have lots of nuts, soya and veggies in SA too!”.
Excellent! I am not a freak in their eyes … yet!
But we are not staying in Pretoria or with Family the entire time in South Africa so I still needed to do some more research on vegan dining within the country.
I found this amazing site and my fears and worries have be totally put aside.
The South African Vegan Directory is just that: a directory for vegans in South Africa, listing not only restaurants but also shopping, accommodations, recipes and product listings.
With options like Indian, Turkish, Chinese and Mexican, not to mention a whole listing of cafes and bars I feel more than ready to eat my way across the country, vegan styles.