Top 10 classics to look out for when touring South Africa

Top 10 classics to look out for when touring South Africa

World Cup its been and gone, but there are still reasons to come to South Africa!OK, so the whole world came to South Africa for the first ever Fifa World Cup on African soil. Now that the dust has settled there are still many good reasons to come to this beautiful country warm sunny days, outstanding scenery, and a mutli cultural welcome from one of the most diverse populations in the world.

When people come to this country they might want to sample some of the really South African things that make our lives here perhaps unique and certainly more interesting.

To help visitors to South Africa get a feel of what makes us so different, I have put together this list of 10 essentially and uniquely South African foods and other products.

For South Africans there are some things that define our lives as South African because their presence in our lives is almost unquestioned. The following are some of my favourites. It is a personal list and I make no claims for either completeness nor originality. There are also quite a few that I have left off the list so as not to make it too lengthy. Things like Rooibos tea and potjiekos, mngqusho and mahewu, mpokoqo and amasi. OK so you don’t know what these are and maybe they are subjects for another Hub.

For most South Africans the items on this list are essential parts of daily life. As people in the UK will often speak of a Hoover when they mean a vacuum cleaner we in South Africa will often refer simply to “Mrs Ball’s” when we mean chutney or “Klippies” when we mean brandy. Why these names are so iconic will be explained as we go along.

This is not to say, unfortunately, that these things will always be around. Some quintessentially South African things have already in my lifetime disappeared, not without a trace, though. Things like a “tickey”, which originally referred to the old silver threepenny piece which was very small, but which survives in our language in two ways: a small person is often referred to as a “tickey” and when we want to describe a car’s turning circle we often say “it can turn on a tickey”, meaning that it has a very small turning circle. There was for many years a famous circus clown in South Africa who called himself “Tickey” on account of his diminutive size. I’m sure many people using these terms don’t know the origin of them any more, but that’s “progress” for you!

Anyone coming to this wonderful country should, in order to get a full taste of it, at least try to find and use or eat (or drink) some of the following.

If people in the US can think of something being “as American as apple pie” then we in South Africa can think of something being “as South African as Mrs Ball’s”! You might find things similar to these I present here but the South Africanness of these is clear, and unforgettable. So come to our great country and enjoy (and crime, while it is a problem, is not “out of control”as some would allege).

South Africans of all races are noted for their hospitality and friendliness. And the following are essential ingredients of that hospitality.

Disclaimer: I suppose I should tell everyone that I am not in any way connected with, nor am I paid (yet?!) by the manufacturers of, any of the products in this Hub.

What Beer To Drink While Watching the Fifa World Cup

What Beer To Drink While Watching the Fifa World Cup

Millions of people around the world will be glued to their television sets during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. And most of those will have a selection of nibbles and, of course, beer. But rather than just reaching for the nearest bottle or can, why not increase the enjoyment by drinking a beer suitable for the occasion? Here are some World Cup beer ideas.

Group A: France, Mexico, South Africa and UruguayIt’s hard to get, but the best beer available from this group has to be from the French ChTi brewery. The range goes from the 4.5% White up to the 7.4% Triple. The most famous though is the 6.4% ChTi Blonde, which won the gold medal at the World Selection of Beers in 2003 in Brussels. Mexico has a wide range of bottled beers including some from microbreweries and these are available in parts of the USA but hard to get elsewhere.

Group B: Argentina, Greece, Nigeria and South KoreaThis is a difficult group for beer lovers. The Greek Mythos beer is worth a look. This is a 5.0% blonde beer launched in 1997. Argentina fans can try to find a bottle of Araucana Rojiza Fuerte, a 9.2% doppelbock style amber beer.

Group C: Algeria, England, Slovenia and USAThere are just so many good English beers that drinkers are spoilt for choice. Many of the breweries are doing World Cup specials that might be worth looking out for. This Morning Advertiser article is a good place to start. The USA has also improved massively in recent years with the number of microbreweries, but many are hard to get hold of outside the USA. Thus probably the best to opt for is the range from Sierra Nevada Brewing. Lasko Pivo from Slovenia is also worth a try.

Group D: Australia, Germany, Ghana and SerbiaWidely available and very nice is the range of beers from the Australian Coopers Brewery. The 4.5% Original Pale Ale is the easiest to get hold of, but try some of the others if on sale. For lovers of good blonde lager beers, Germany literally has hundreds of them, of which Hasserder has been named the official beer of the German team, but there are many alternatives. For something a bit different, try Star Beer from Ghana.

Group E: Cameroon, Denmark, Japan and NetherlandsThe Dutch Trappist brewery La Trappe wins easily in this group as the beer with which to watch football. Brave souls can try the 10% Quadrupel but the 7% Dubbel and 8% Tripel are worthy beers. Japan is seeing a growth in what it calls craft beers and the bottled Owa is sometimes available.

Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay and SlovakiaDo not believe it if anyone says Italy does not have good beer. The range from the Del Borgo brewery alone is worth trying. And for anyone watching in Rome, visit the Football Pub and enjoy the match with its impressive range of beer from local microbreweries. Paraguay does have a German style lager called Baviera Beer. And from Slovakia is Zlaty Bazant, another pilsner style beer.

Group G: Brazil, Ivory Coast, North Korea and PortugalIvory Coasts Solibra brewery produces the 5.2% Flag Spciale and 4.6% Bock. From Portugal is the range from Sagres the lager of which weighs in at 5.1% and the Bohemia at 6.2%. The Portugese Superbock range is also worth considering, including the 6.4% Abadia and 6.8% Abadia Gold.

Group H: Chile, Honduras, Spain and SwitzerlandFor Spain it has to be the Moska range from the Birrart Brewery the 4.4% Rossa and Negra and the 5% Poma and Torrada are all lovely bottled conditioned ales. Honduras has a range of basic beers from the Cerveza Brewery. BFM produces some Belgian Abbey style beers in Switzerland including the 11% Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien Grand Cru and the 7.5% Cuve du 7me.

Other World Cup BeersThis is just a small selection of the wide number of beers available from World Cup countries. Readers should feel free to add their favourites in the comments section below.