9.24.2014

Burn

It's late and I've had some red wine so I apologise in advance if I waffle.

Or if I make no sense.

Or both.

In about three minutes (at time of writing this particular sentence) it will be Heritage Day. Or if you're more of a national boerewors franchise or charcoal industry persuasion it's very nearly National Braai Day.

A quick translation section for the many thousands (ha) of my followers who are of a UK persuasion.

 1. Boerewors is roughly translated as farmer's sausage and can best be described as a beef sausage with (usually) a bit of lamb fat and fairly heavy spicing mostly from coriander and clove. Yes, I know what you're thinking - the idea of a sausage that isn't made from pork is complete madness and can only result in an inferior product that cannot compete with the succulence of an old speckled hen banger or the majesty of a well formed cumberland ring. You're right, it can't...but in the same way that it's completely reasonable to love cheddar and still enjoy brie this stuff does the trick on occasion.

2. Braai as I have mentioned before under the guises of that old rogue the afrowelshman is a barbecue. The big difference here is that that the wors is cooked medium rather than to crozzled (as would be expected of most UK sausages) and it comes with a variety of extras like deboned legs of lamb, steaks, skilpadjies (look it up yourselves) and venison loins. What also stands out for me is that in a nation where braaivleis (barbecued meat) is almost a national sport there are an extraordinary amount of veggie based accompaniments. Mielies (corn on the cob), pap and gravy (maize meal and homemade tomato sauce) and salads for Africa abound. And if you're really lucky you may even get a chance to tuck into a braaibroodjie (literally translated as barbecued little bread) which is basically the best toasted sandwich you've ever had multiplied by about a million.

You're probably thinking that all that waxing lyrical about Heritage Day means I will be doing something profound, noble or indeed appropriate to celebrate.

Nope.

I intend to spend my day wearing a daffodil in my hair, munching a leek, listening to Tom Jones and watching a battered betamax copy of 101 Great Welsh Tries followed by a Gavin and Stacey marathon.

Just kidding. Except for the rugby video.

Sadly National Braai Day has become a highly divisive issue. The holiday itself was proposed in recognition of the Kwa-Zulu Natal tradition of commemorating King Shaka Zulu. Then, six or ten years ago Jan Scannell (or Jan Braai as he is colloquially known) proposed the idea of National Braai Day and evermore it was coined.

I feel a bit sorry for Jan Braai. I think he proposed the idea to promote family togetherness and the social aspect of being around a fire, but sadly there are many detractors who now claim it is purely a commercial exercise to promote inferior sausage sales. That said, the legend that is Desmond Tutu is a supporter of Braai Day and that's good enough for me.

I have no idea where the president stands on it but if I were to speculate I'd probably say that old JZ stands right in the middle of Nkandla in full animal print garb singing umshini wami while dancing around a braai that is fuelled entirely by R260 million of taxpayers money.

Whatever. I'm still not giving him a welsh cake.

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