South African languages Afrikaans Xhosa Zulu

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15 Foods only people who grew up in South Africa will crave [pictures]

It’s about more than just the braai and biltong, you know.

South African languages Afrikaans Xhosa Zulu

File Photo

There are many things only South Africans understand. And there are equally as many things that we’ll just never understand when we travel. One thing we definitely understand is the foods that we grew up with. And how it feels when we’re craving them. Especially if you’re craving them when you’re away from home.

Also read: 9 South African places vs their UK counterparts

Whether you’re on holiday or if you’ve relocated for a job (permanently or temporarily), when South Africans get homesick, there are some things we just crave. Sometimes we just somma crave them even if we haven’t left and when you lus for one of these, then you must haveit at all costs.

Also read: Nine words British people use that mean something different to South Africans

Here are some of our favourites. What’s yours?


What’s better than a brightly coloured, frozen, sugar-laced sucker that’ll completely chill you out on a hot summer’s day? Nothing, that’s what. Also, filling up the empty sappie sakkie and throwing it at each other during break…. ja ne… we all got into kak for that at least once.

Gatti’s ice cream

Lolly to make you jolly? Sucker to make you wakker? Even if you are a grown ass adult, nothing hits the spot like a Gatti’s icecream when it’s kak hot.

Simba chips

From the good old fashioned tomato flavoured chips to Chipiks and Ghost Pops… that Lion knows how to do chips. Just don’t call it chips if you’re in the UK, daai mense noem dit crisps.


Whether it’s home made or from a tin, chakalaka is nca.

Chico the Clown

Arme Chico in this picture is dik die donner in that he’s about to get eaten, but Chico was basically the food of your birthday as a kid.  Yooooh, all that sugar.

Marshmallow fish

Why settle for a normal marshmallow when you can have a marshmallow fish?

Zoo biscuits

And the correct way to eat it is to chew the icing animal off first. Don’t @ me.


With curried mince, with jam, of sommer net so with a bit of butter… vetkoek is life. And cold vetkoek in your lunchbox the next day is more life.


Start of the month Salticrax, mid-month Salticrax or end-of-the month Salticrax, it doesn’t matter. With cheese, with butter, with Bovril or just plain. These little crackers are just too damn good.

Samp and beans

Who needs beef bourguignon or cassoulet when you have samp and beans? Every South African will have their own favourite recipe, often passed on from one generation to the next. Best served with a giant lump of butter on top of it.


We love this stuff so much, we even apparently have a whole entire National Milk Tart Day. What kind!

Peppermint crisp tart

Another favourite, peppermint crisp tart is not a proper peppermint crisp tart unless you buy an extra peppermint crisp to eat all by yourself.

Slap chips

Yeah, okay, you get chips in other countries but you don’t get slap chips like we make them here.  They must be slap, wrapped in paper and smothered in salt and vinegar.


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Shit just got real #SteakGatsby #Lekker

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You’re not a Capetonian until you’ve finished a full masala steak gatsby by yourself.

Bunny chow

This wonderfully South African dish has been appropriate around the world with some people selling “breakfast” bunnies (voetsek met daai kak!). The only bunny chow we want us a Durban bunny, kthnksbye.

Also read:

16 lekker little things South Africans have perfected

Ag lekker! The Saffa version of 12 Days of Krismis is one for the ages