The South African national sausage is boerewors.  A funny word that makes small English children giggle uncontrollably.  Both the rs are trilled and the w is a strong v-sound. 


With the coming weekend marking our National Braai Day – the rather surreal initiative of our government to get everyone to up their carbon footprint and make fires on which they will turn meat into carcinogenic meals – supermarket tills will ring merrily in the next few days as people stock up on their requisite boerewors.

I personally don’t like it much, which is fine as my husband won’t eat it and my daughter refuses even to speak its name.  But I had been asked to do a food shoot for a magazine; they needed a shot of a dish which often accompanies boerewors, pap en uie.

This, directly translated, is porridge and onions.  Bizarre, I agree. A stiffish maize porridge* topped with fried onions, not for me thanks.  But I had to make the dish and didn’t like to throw it away.  We had two local chaps here doing some paintwork on the house, so I dashed out and got some sausage to fry; they were very happy indeed with their unexpected lunchtime feast.

*Grits in America and Polenta in Italy.  I’d love to know if other countries have anything similar.

My spellchecker was most dismayed with this post …



  1. Interesting “new” take on an “old” favorite!

    Personally I have to agree with the “pap” bit, I can’t stand it!
    Once I saw an English chap take a liberal scoop mistaking it for mash.
    What a riot! Imagine that stiff-upper-lipped dismay!
    No offense to the Brits!

    I do like a decent “boerewors”, there are differences in quality, as is the case with most things, the purer the ingredients the better.

    If its not “advertising”, for which mag are you doing the shoot?

  2. It took me YEARS to pluck up the courage to try ‘pap’. It has to be dry and crumbly for me – otherwise too much like porridge. I have also, on one occasion – mistaken it for mash… ugh! But I must admit I do like boerewors as long as it isn’t too spiced – there is just something that I hate that they put in most of the brands which is why I seldom buy it because it is like a lucky dip and I lose out 95% of the time!

      • I don’t mind stywe pap with tomato gravy…and now that I can’t have it, I crave it so!! Boerewors…hmmmm nothing like a quality piece over an open fire. We are not allowed to have open fires here in Australia so obviously I long for it so 🙂 You can in fact buy it here but it’s the yellow one which I don’t like at all. Made me hungry so early in the morning!!

      • I’m quite surprised that they don’t have more SA produce stores over there, given the large ex-pat population. Our friends say that Perth has more Saffies than Ausies?

  3. I don’t mind the stywe pap with a nice spicy tomato and onion gravy, but not when it’s sloppy. *shudder*
    My brother gets the most amazing wors from a butcher in Centurion – 100% meat and no soya because of my nieces’ peanut allergy.

  4. Not much of a lover of sausage myself… don’t blame your daughter for refusing to speak the name of that particular one (sounds like your spellcheck is of like mind :o) ) That word is interesting – reminds me of ‘Boer Wars’… oh no, of course, wors sausage, so, a type of farmer sausage. (Sorry, the linguist in me will go on so… 🙂 )

  5. Just to clear up a possible misconception here: Grits do not equal polenta!!! Not in any way shape or form. Grits (which I adore) is comprised of gound hominy. Polenta is from regular corn meal. They are decidedly different – quite obvious if you’ve ever tried a mouthful or hominy versus a mouthful of corn! As much as I love grits, I can’t stand hominy! Go figure! Also, over here, the big mistake frequently made at breakfast buffets is confusing grits with cream of wheat (farina)! While I like both, the way they are consumed is very different! Generally a bit of butter and salt with grits, where farina is often sweetened and topped with some cream or milk! Doing the opposite can result in some odd faces at tasting time!

    Also – I couldn’t stop thinking about the Boer Wars while reading your post! Wonder why? ;-D

  6. This has put a huge grin on my vegetarian mug. I shouted, “Oh my gawd, Cin” when the post first opened and was relieved you redeemed yourself swiftly. Your family again confirms its discerning palate.

  7. Having come from the east coast, I don’t do “grits” in the southern (U.S.) way, but do “polenta” in the Italian manner and topings can be just about anything. Interesting thing here is that if you buy a package marked grits it’s cheaper than one marked polenta…and as you know, they’re the same thing. One of the things I like to do is saute wild mushrooms with olive oil, butter, white wine and herbs (I do cook with wine) and serve that over fried polenta squares. Another thing we like is a beef stew with onions and carrots (a red wine this time) and creamy polenta on the side.

    Nice that you made the gentlemen lunch and didn’t waste the food.

  8. Pingback: Let’s go! | Tokeloshe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s