The influence of Dutch, English, German and French cooking cannot be denied on South African eating habits. With the many wars between small principalities and struggle for religious freedom many Europeans decided to leave their homeland and settled in what is now known today as South Africa. Easy, it could not have been, but they brought their cooking habits and their sense of frugality with them, some of which we still use today.
On the flatlands of the Western Cape they build themselves farms that still exist today, mostly vegetable, stock and wine farms. In the Eastern Cape a group of German immigrants settled and many of the people you find there is of German descent.
The food we now buy in our supermarkets, although we don’t often notice it, but these foods come from European cultures that immigrated to South Africa. But the food that we do recognize from that comes from another country has always been from German origins.
I am talking about rye bread; pumpernickel and sour dough bread, in my mind’s eye we already eating it with cream cheese, ham and a pickle. There are however a vast array of meats, preserved vegetables and cake to be had.
The Christmas Ham served with creamy mustard Mayonnaise could be of a German recipe. The spicy cookies that served with coffee or tea and presented in a little box and given as a present is very special. Apple, mincemeat and nut strudel is another favourite if only it did not take such a long time to make it.
Food of European people were often preserved I suppose because of their cold winters and the people needed to work on the farms or fight in wars. Naturally sauerkraut is a favourite with German-South Africans and goes very nice with a German beer.