South African Culinary Delights

*PG Rating – read at your own discretion due to language. It is not my fault it is the language of the nation. You are warned…

Before you arrive:

All tourists visiting South Africa should come hungry and with an open mind. Please do not take this suggestion lightly as it is well known that have a severe love for food and fermented grape juice.

South Africans have a unique palette and eat just about everything. Traditional dishes can range from Sheep brains to Termites, dried out salted meat (biltong) and especially cakes. The one thing you are in for when visiting South Africa is a treat like none other!

Below you will find useful descriptions, recipe’s and common slang words. Please note that South African’s often use food names as nicknames and/or swear words.

Hot Drinks

Moer Koffie
Most popular by far is the Afrikaans coffee called Moer Koffie which, roughly translated, means F**ked coffee or beaten up coffee. It’s flavour is unique in that it tastes very similar to cardboard, possibly due to it being whacked continually by a log of wood before being brewed in a tin pot over an open fire.

Should you wish to try this coffee out before landing in moerSA, you can do so as follows:

a) Placing a minimum of 10 coffee beans in a linen bag and hitting it with a blunt object until crushed beyond oblivion, or

b) Buying Koffiehuis from your local South African shop, or

c) If you are a cheap skuit (scrooge) then the third option is for you. Take cheap instant coffee and filter it through fine cardboard. Please ensure that a cup or mug is under the cardboard as it can get quite messy. Cheap is never clean.

Slang: As you can see from the advert on right, the word moer is used often in daily life. Normal use is “I’m going to moer him”. Please be warned that should you say this to a local you yourself might get moered.

Cakes, Biscuits and yummy things


One thing you should know before you begin to consider visiting South Africa is the fact that we love cakes of any shape, size and flavour. It is recommended that you go on a serious diet before landing as you are guaranteed to pick up a minimum of 10kg’s by the the time you return to your home country.

Beskuit: a dried out cake that is flavoured by a wide variety of goodies with the most popular brand being Ouma’s Rusks (Grandma’s). Please note that these boxes do not come with warnings or eating instructions and you must please take note of the following before devouring. These rusks can be as hard as rocks, they are solid and dense. In order to eat these you must first dunk them into a fresh cup of Moer koffie or your local brand of PG Tips. Should you fail to do this please see a dentist as soon as humanly possible!

Try out first: Beskuit recipe

Slang: A person of slow nature, one who’s lift doesn’t reach the top floor. Should you omit the “bes” part of the word you will be telling someone to go s**t themselves i.e. gaan skuit. Other slang (buscuit): Cookie, twit. In America, a biscuit is a scone with no sugar. In South Africa, a biscuit is actually a cookie. Some favourites are Marie, Romany Creams, Nuttikrust and Eet Sum Mor. Common use: “John, you biscuit!”


Koeksusters: A doughnut of a different kind plaited and woven together with the end product being 90% sugar. When eating a koeksuster it is recommended that napkins are covering your clothes in all directions as spillages are guaranteed. The word comes from the Dutch koek (“cake”) and sissen, meaning “to sizzle” and boy does it add sizzle to your dizzle. This cake is so popular that the right-wing enclave of Orania in the Northern Cape even has its own statue to the koeksister.

Try out first: Koeksuster recipe

Slang: A person of who is either übber conservative or someone who dresses in the popular fashion of wearing stilettos with sweat pants/tracksuit pants.


Other popular cakes: Melktert (highly recommended). Please note that you should not be shocked while visiting a local for tea. Being served a whole melktert is not uncommon, this is mainly due to the fact that the locals believe that sharing their tarts is much like sharing a spouse, not done.

Meat & Ocean bound creatures

There are two traditional meats that get every local flapping in excitement and the majority of South African’s living abroad drool everytime they hear the words… Biltong and Boerewors.


Biltong: Very similar to the American Jerky but called biltong for the fact that it sounds more larny (smart). It is raw meat hung up to dry after soaking in a tub of vile vinegar and spices for a couple of days. It is very popular with the locals and foreigners alike, for what reason I can not confirm *shivers*

Try out first: Biltong recipe

Slang: A biltong is someone who is raw / crude… similar to a jerk


Boerewors (vorse): Farm style sausage or “wors made from hundreds of top secret spices and beef/venison. A form of boerewors is that of an Ostrich, normally only once they have retired from the transport game. Ostriches are special in South Africa and it is not uncommon to see sign posts requesting travellers not to blow their horns due to them getting laid. Note to locals: Stop drooling at the picture

Try out first: Boerewors recipe – Please don’t tell anyone where you found this recipe, I am breaking the Omertà and I fear them hunting me down… please I beg of you do NOT take this lightly!

Slang: Most common is that of the “Boerewors Curtain”. This is any Afrikaans speaking district, usually rural. Other forms of slang I can not mention but your imagination can run wild.


Bokkoms: Bokkoms are Harders (Mullet) that are salted, then strung into bunches and hung up to dry, pretty much raw fish. Please note that this is not consumed by the locals but rather is sold to visitors in the guise of a traditional dish. The reason for this is the locals need for entertainment due to the constant short supply of electricity and subsequently, TV.

Try out first: Due to the high probability of lawsuits I have made the executive decision to not provide the recipe.

Slang: A smelly person

Traditional Dishes


Bobotie: Often mispronounced Bob bow tie as seen on the left, apologies this is not what bobotie is unless of course you know a Bob that wears bow ties. It is in fact the image on the right.

Try out first: Bob-bow-tie Recipe or Bobotie Recipe both are recommended…



Fokol Wine can be found in most supermarkets and tourist hot spots. The direct translation can be seen under the slang section. This wine looks a lot like watered down cherry juice and tastes much like “rotten spirit vinegar” but the sheer fact that you are drinking “fokol” certainly lifts the spirits a bit.

Slang: Fokol is Afrikaans for the English form of f**k all. Please note that we also have a very popular rock band called fokofpolisiekar, naturally from Cape Town.


Mampoer (mum-poo-er) or witblitz (vit-blitz) Potent home-made distilled alcohol, much like the American moonshine. The word means “white lightning” in Afrikaans.

Medical Warning: Please note that should you have a weak constitution avoid sampling this particular form of local alcohol. Locals have strong livers due to the general mass consumption that takes place during teen years and thus can withstand far greater amounts of alcohol than the average European. The only other country who can consume Mampoer with ease is Australia.

Another Warning: Please note the word moer can be found in Mampoer, it is for a reason! Be careful of this substance, there is a reason why it is illegal to ship it over the borders.

One of the most popular drinks in Southern Africa, one that will make you feel at home and comfortable with the strange customs you may find yourself surrounded by. A fine drink of creamy nature with secret venom that will make your legs suddenly give way once you stand up to venture towards the WC’s. Please watch the following video clip, it explains the pros and cons as well as possible dangers.


Please be careful of where you walk otherwise it is you that will be food!

Should you be lazy like I am and find yourself wanting to sample some or all of these delicious food items you can find a store near you STORES

15 thoughts on “South African Culinary Delights

  1. Wow, I had no idea; that i could consume a food and curse someone out all at the same time!!! Any food that has the slang f**k in it is speaking my language; one of my favorite words I have to admit!!! LOL

  2. You would love South Africa then because most of the “slang” as well as the traditional Afrikaans words are all ambiguous to the extreme. To the point that a traffic report on the radio can cause accidents. But that one is an PG 18 😀

  3. The word ‘Moer’is actually not quite as harsh as the ‘F##k’word. We do have our own description for that word which sounds more like the original version namely ‘bok’-take away the b and replace it with the f. Although be warned, if you are being told off with “moering” there is some violence involved 😉

  4. Dis vaar, maar ek sal nog nie vir n’ groot man “ek gaan jou moer” se nie… eeeek … and my afrikaans is terrible jammer

    Thanks for the visit moer en fok agreed two different meanings

    Make love not war… hmm

  5. Sanity,

    Being a good Afrikaans Tukkies girl living abroad – and I am not a koeksister or a koek or a tert – I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind revising your post about that sacred of all words “moer”.

    Moer, my dear fellow actually means “c*nt” and not F*ck as you say – yes the dreaded pink word.

    It actually originates from Dutch and has a few meanings. A moer used as a noun means “nut” (the round metal thingy that screws into the end of metal bolts – not the other kind).

    Moer can also mean “ground” as in moerkoffie i.e. coffee made from coffee grinds. That’s why when someone says “ek gaan jou moer” it means I am going to grind you up – but with the added reference to the c word as a double meaning.

    Moer – as I said before also refers to the female anatomy – its not difficult to make the connection to the nut meaning.

    Moer is also an old word for Mother. So the Phrase “Jou Moer” is more or less the equivalent to motherf*cker or just plain “you c*nt”.

    Lastly, there is the phrase Moerskont – which is probably the dirtiest word in the Afrikaans language and should be used with extreme caution. It basically means “your mothers’s c*nt”.

    I can speak a number of languages and I have to say, there is no other language where swearing is as satisfying as it is in Afrikaans. So I say thanks for the opportunity for me to let it rip!

  6. I might add to what CamberGirl said about the word “moer”.

    During the height of apartheid, the British demonstrators at the time, demonstrating against the Springbok Rugby Tour , shouted a slogan “Boere Julle Moere” or “Boer jou Moer” at the Springbok Rugby Team. The then Springbok Captain a minister or “dominee” in the NG Church, later a Minister of Sport in the National Party Government, had to testify in a British Court as to the meaning of the slogan.

    Apart from the fact that the words rhyme , in this instance the word “Boere” (plural) or “Boer” as Afrikaners are commonly referred to and, translated means Famers or Farmer. The word “moer” or plural “moere” also means your mother is a whore (hoer in Afrikaans) or your mothers are whores (hoere in Afrikaans).

    If someone therefore say to you “Jou moer” it can also mean your mother is a whore.

  7. just wanted to say i am an american, and i studied in stellenbosch for 5 months. i wish i would have found this post before i left… because months went by before i had my first nuttikrust cookie.
    they are so delicious. i miss them so much.

  8. One of the first meanings for the word “moer” was actually root, or thickened root to be more specific. Early setllers used many different types of roots for different purposes to meet demands we take for granted today. The term aartappel moer is still commonly used today, which is the thickened root of the potato plant. The term moerkoffie meant root coffee. The setllers dried and ground the roots of a plant called chicory (sigorei in Afrikaans) as a replacement for coffee.It is still widely used in instant coffees today.

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