Monday, March 23, 2009

Bo Kaap take-away.

The more one looks around Cape Town, the more striking it is that there’s good food available everywhere. Leaving the train station, an inconspicuous shop selling air-time and hair-gel, with a counter that serves richly spiced curries. Late night, a stand sitting outside of a club, sizzling with the smell of cooking boerewors. A tiny bakery tucked between two larger stores, quietly selling koesisters coated in flakes of coconut. Most often, we glimpse these sightings at the wrong time—we’re not hungry yet, we’ve just finished dinner, or simply aren’t in the mood for a little take-away. Thankfully on Thursday, our sighting came at the perfect time—just as we starting to decide where we should grab lunch.

We were walking through the Bo Kaap, an historic Muslim neighborhood, when we spotted a small crowd gathered around a busy street-corner grill. Stepping through the curtain of charcoal smoke, we looked in at what he was selling: grilled sausages, steak, and chicken. We grabbed a to-go meal of wors and chicken, and took it home. The wors—what can I say about it really?—was fine, a pretty standard grilled sausage. The chicken, however, was fantastic. Its skin was crisp from the heat, and stained a golden red from the marinade of spices. But best of all was the chili sauce that garnished it—not the syrupy sweet ‘chili sauce’ that is so popularly poured out of a bottle here in South Africa, but a bright green sauce that tasted smoky and spicy.