Afrikaans Sosaties

Posted on June 12, 2014 by Cape Rebel

From Leipoldt’s Food & Wine
by C Louis Leipoldt

There is probably no other dish that can be regarded as more genuinely Afrikaans than 

sosaties. Yet it is by no means unique to South Africa, and it is, broadly speaking, known in many different countries around the world. In Russia, for instance, you’ll find pieces of veal, pork, and onions, or preserved cucumber, skewered together on a stick, and roasted on the grill. The pieces of meat are first soaked in sour milk, then rolled in salt and pepper, rubbed with a clove of garlic, and roasted. The taste, of course, is not like that of sosaties, but the method of preparing them is more or less the same. And in the south of France, in that beautiful Ardour valley where some of our best dishes hail from, you’ll find another kind of sosatie. There the meat is first ground, mixed with bacon, and stuffed into a little gut. The resulting sausages are then pickled, after which they are strung up on wooden pegs and roasted under the ash, or on a grill.


Tant Alie says: ‘Those aren’t sosaties – they’re just some of that French rubbish you get in their restaurants.’ She knows all about it because when she was still young enough to go a-courting, she paid a visit to Paris. According to her, it was then a very strange place, certainly not what it is today – or was in my day. I managed to avoid the misfortune of eating any rubbish in Paris, although I must agree that I never encountered any genuine sosaties there.

Nee,’ says Tant Alie, ‘the truth, my child… the truth is that you no longer get sosaties like Ouma Liesbet made them. Now those were real sosaties.’

She went on to explain at great length exactly what kind of sosaties they were. I must say Ouma Liesbet – I never knew her, for by the time I was born she had exchanged her earthly for a heavenly existence, and what remained was the lingering talk of her unrivalled cooking, especially when it came to making pannas, brawn and Spanish-reed chops, about which I may have something to say at a later stage – Ouma Liesbet was exceptionally orthodox and strict about following the rules for making sosaties. I can do no better than tell you how she went about it. …

13 June 1945


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