SaltyCrax Backpackers

The taste of South Africa

With a varied history and many cultures and backgrounds; South Africa is known as the ‘rainbow nation’. This diversity has sprinkled the country with different flavours and dishes.

Here are a few you must try when you visit us:



It’s a ball of dough which is fried and then stuffed with a variety of fillings. Vetkoek lives up to its name, meaning ‘fat cake’. Popular fillings include spiced mince; apricot jam and grated cheese; or polony. 



You can buy these strips of dried and spiced meat at almost any supermarket or corner shop. Biltong is best enjoyed with a beer, but if you’re in the Winelands and want a more elegant introduction, try the warm prawn and cured snoek terrine at Helena’s in Stellenbosch, which comes rolled in wild herbs and kudu biltong dust, and served with tangy parsley purée.




This traditional Cape Malay dish consists of spiced minced lamb or beef topped with an egg-and-milk layer and browned in the oven. Some recipes call for the addition of apple, raisins or apricot jam, whose sweetness works well in combination with the curry powder and turmeric that lend the dish its golden colour. 




These grilled sandwiches are always present at braais. You can put anything between two slices of bread, pop it on the grill, and call it a braaibroodjie, but they usually contain some combo of cheese, onion and tomato. 



This stacked foot-long sandwich is meant for sharing and is filled to bursting with slap chips (chunky, soft fries usually doused in vinegar), masala steak, egg, Russian sausage and sometimes polony or a vienna accompanied by atchar or peri peri. It originated in the Cape Flats in the 1970s as an economical meal. Not the kind of food you’re likely to eat on a daily basis!



Depending on where you are in the country, these sweets either take the form of a braided dough that’s deep-fried and soaked in syrup or balls of spiced batter rolled in coconut.