The daily food of indigenous South African families comes from the local foods that their ancestors ate. A typical meal in a South African family household that is Bantu-speaking is a stiff, fluffy porridge of maize meal (called "pap," and very similar to American grits) with a flavorful stewed meat gravy. Rice and sugar beans are also a popular as well as cabbage with white potato and butter. Traditional African food is generally cooked over an open fire or in a three-legged pot or "potjie". Meat tends to be served in either stewed or grilled. The Zulu's enjoy "amazi" which is curdled milk and also milk stout.
The foreign influences of Dutch, British, Afrikaans, Cape Malay, Portuguese and Indian immigrants have been blended in to make the variety of tastes available today. A very distinctive regional style of South African cooking is often referred to as "Cape Dutch". This cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as nutmeg, allspice and chili peppers. The Cape Dutch cookery style owes much to the food of the slaves brought by the Dutch East India Company to the Cape from Bengal, Java and Malaysia as it does to the European styles of cookery. Curried dishes are popular with lemon juice among people of all ethnic origins; many of these dishes came to the country with the thousands of Indian laborers brought to South Africa in the nineteenth century.
Beer has been in South Africa for hundreds of years among indigenous people long before the arrival of Europeans with their own beer styles. Traditional beer was brewed from local grains, especially sorghum.
Be prepared for generous meals and large quantities of meat. You can get great seafood and there are usually vegetarian options available.