Traditional South African food – The Melk Tart

There are two things I love possibly more than anything else. Writing and pudding. And what could be a better combination that writing about pudding. Pudding is the tastiest illustration of the vibrant mix of nationalities and cultures that make up South Africa– but don’t expect to be able to stick any kind of diet while enjoying them. We like our puddings rich. Apart, that is, from Melktert, or Milk Tart as those of us who can’t get their tongues around Afrikaans call it. A perfect tart has the lightness of milk combined with the spicy, aromatic flavour of cinnamon dusted over the top. It needs a light, delicate hand. The crust can divide families. Some insist that only a sweet pastry crust will do in order for it to be a ‘proper’ milk tart, while others, myself included, lust after a zingy,ginger biscuit crust.

deliciousmilktart

Then there’s the infamous Malva pudding. Infamous?What else could you call a hot pudding,dripping in butter and syrup, smothered in double-thick cream, that has one drooling even while thinking about the extra five kilometres one will have to jog in order to work it off. And speaking of fattening and delicious; and seldom are those two words ever apart, one would need a judge, and possibly a jury, to decide which was more delicious or more fattening – Malva pudding or Koeksisters. Those twisted little ropes of utter syrupy heaven that almost demand a pot of Rooibos tea. In fact, Rooibos tea is a must as an accompaniment for South African puddings. Its fragrant, light taste cuts through the sweetness, bringing out the true comfort of ‘comfort food’. The great thing about most South African puddings is they can be eaten as a snack at tea-time. You don’t have to wait until after dinner to enjoy them!

My grandfather had many memorable traits, but his addiction to Coconut Ice was defining. I remember pressing down the warm mixture into the pan, making sure it reached every corner and then licking the sticky mixture off my knuckles while Gran prepared the pink ice to go on top. And yes, she did make me wash my hands before pressing down the pink layer. I can’t see the little, jewel-coloured squares without thinking of the old folk and their big farm-style kitchen.

Lemon meringue pie is etched in my memory as one of the most delectable puddings ever. In fact, I seriously considered having it as my wedding cake. Mother’s, of course, was always the best and there could never be too much lemon. Very few tarts made by others have lived up to hers.

Home-made ice cream is divine. Even when it’s plain old vanilla. But just the merest hint of guava and it suddenly it transforms into the very essence of growing up in Africa. And when has the merest hint ever been associated with ice cream? Some people use a pink guava paste in their recipes. In my grandmother’s house that would have been sacrilegious. But then she did preserve her own fruit. Our guava ice cream had real fruit mixed in, even the pips. And best of all, guava ice cream was a winter dessert, as that’s when the fruit was in season.

South African Food Shop

Milktartslice

This South Africancuisine article was brought to you by Saffatrading – The best South African food shop ever developed. Saffa-Trading sells South African goods and groceries to South African living abroad in countries like the UK, USA and Australia. As the name suggests the word “Saffa” is slang for South Africans, especially those that are living overseas. If you go online you are able to find many South African online food shops that sell various goods including common favourites like biltong or boerewors. Saffatrading is stationed in South Africa which enables us to have all of the products on hand and never sit with old stock.  So if you are an expat and you are living in the UK, USA or Australia then visit our online food shop for some of the most delicious Saffa food you will ever taste.

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Traditional South African food – The Melk Tart

March 26th, 2015

There are two things I love possibly more than anything else. Writing and pudding. And what could be a better combination that writing about pudding. Pudding is the tastiest illustration of the vibrant mix of nationalities and cultures that make up South Africa– but don’t expect to be able to stick any kind of diet while enjoying them. We like our puddings rich. Apart, that is, from Melktert, or Milk Tart as those of us who can’t get their tongues around Afrikaans call it. A perfect tart has the lightness of milk combined with the spicy, aromatic flavour of cinnamon dusted over the top. It needs a light, delicate hand. The crust can divide families. Some insist that only a sweet pastry crust will do in order for it to be a ‘proper’ milk tart, while others, myself included, lust after a zingy,ginger biscuit crust.

deliciousmilktart

Then there’s the infamous Malva pudding. Infamous?What else could you call a hot pudding,dripping in butter and syrup, smothered in double-thick cream, that has one drooling even while thinking about the extra five kilometres one will have to jog in order to work it off. And speaking of fattening and delicious; and seldom are those two words ever apart, one would need a judge, and possibly a jury, to decide which was more delicious or more fattening – Malva pudding or Koeksisters. Those twisted little ropes of utter syrupy heaven that almost demand a pot of Rooibos tea. In fact, Rooibos tea is a must as an accompaniment for South African puddings. Its fragrant, light taste cuts through the sweetness, bringing out the true comfort of ‘comfort food’. The great thing about most South African puddings is they can be eaten as a snack at tea-time. You don’t have to wait until after dinner to enjoy them!

My grandfather had many memorable traits, but his addiction to Coconut Ice was defining. I remember pressing down the warm mixture into the pan, making sure it reached every corner and then licking the sticky mixture off my knuckles while Gran prepared the pink ice to go on top. And yes, she did make me wash my hands before pressing down the pink layer. I can’t see the little, jewel-coloured squares without thinking of the old folk and their big farm-style kitchen.

Lemon meringue pie is etched in my memory as one of the most delectable puddings ever. In fact, I seriously considered having it as my wedding cake. Mother’s, of course, was always the best and there could never be too much lemon. Very few tarts made by others have lived up to hers.

Home-made ice cream is divine. Even when it’s plain old vanilla. But just the merest hint of guava and it suddenly it transforms into the very essence of growing up in Africa. And when has the merest hint ever been associated with ice cream? Some people use a pink guava paste in their recipes. In my grandmother’s house that would have been sacrilegious. But then she did preserve her own fruit. Our guava ice cream had real fruit mixed in, even the pips. And best of all, guava ice cream was a winter dessert, as that’s when the fruit was in season.

South African Food Shop

Milktartslice

This South Africancuisine article was brought to you by Saffatrading – The best South African food shop ever developed. Saffa-Trading sells South African goods and groceries to South African living abroad in countries like the UK, USA and Australia. As the name suggests the word “Saffa” is slang for South Africans, especially those that are living overseas. If you go online you are able to find many South African online food shops that sell various goods including common favourites like biltong or boerewors. Saffatrading is stationed in South Africa which enables us to have all of the products on hand and never sit with old stock.  So if you are an expat and you are living in the UK, USA or Australia then visit our online food shop for some of the most delicious Saffa food you will ever taste.

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