This September 24, 2010 Friday, go “Braaivleis” in South Africa and “Dop en Tjop” to make your evenings unforgettable.Braaivleis is somewhat same as the “Back yard Barbecues” in Australia and America yet, just multiply the level of excitement, joy and taste tenfold. The Braaivleis culture is commonly shared between Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. The country has an official national holiday on the September 24th to celebrate the Braai festival all night long untiringly. 24th September is also the national heritage day of the rainbow nation under the Braai for Heritage banner. Also, it is the time of the year when you can find cheap flights to South Africa in very reasonable fares, as September is comparatively a cheaper month to fly.
What makes a Braai (Afrikaans for barbecue) differ from the ordinary Barbeque is the smoky juicy rich flavor that is achieved only on coal, wood fuel or charcoal and not gas. Also, Braai has some unspoken set of rules that are never told but understood. Such as that the Braai should be cooked by the leading male in the family called the “Braaier” or tong-master (chef). The women may prepare the ingredients, sauces, porridge, desserts, pap, salad and vegetables to accompany and garnish the dish yet; altogether it’s a man’s day of cooking and presenting. Also, Braai has to be cooked outdoors; it is usually at picnic spots, beach sides or gardens and eaten by the fire side.
Still wondering why they call it “dop en tjop”, where there is barbecue there is also a freedom to drink to your full leaving all care behind. “Dop en Tjop” is Afrikaans slang for “Cap” / bottle top referring to wine bottle / alcohol and “Tjop” for “lamb chop”, meaning food (meat) and wine in general. Meat is the crown of all South African mouth watering cuisines. Braai is rarely served with regular beer and is commonly accompanied with alcohol or traditional South African wine.
The Braai Festival is celebrated nationwide, whether you are heeding to Johannesburg or Cape Town, as long as you are in South Africa on the September 24th this year, you can have the time of your life.