Those who are travelling through Namibia will notice, that next to the spectacular Fauna and Flora, there is a distinctive “Namibian Speciality” enjoyed at every opportunity, the ‘Braai’.
Innumerable places to grill, or as commonly known under the locals, as
‘to braai’. Almost everywhere you decide to camp or stop you will find a spot to ‘braai’. No celebration or public holiday is celebrated without the cosy comforts in front of an open fire with the distinctive ‘braai’ smells of either beef-, lamb- or even game meat, slowly smouldering away. Namibia boasts high quality meat promising a sheer gastronomically delight as all farming is practiced under strict organic methods avoiding any use hormone treatments.
The love of a braai has a unique quality, in that it unites all ethnic groups from Namibia as everybody shares in the same passion and will find no excuse to gather. Next to high quality meat, like thick, sumptuous steaks, another few very important ingredients are needed to ensure a braai is enjoyed to its fullest potential: good quality wood, bread and salads if you like, and of course sufficient beverages to quench those thirsts on a hot summer’s day. And what does not quench a thirst better than an ice-cold beer?
However, it cannot be just any beer either. It has to be a Tafel Lager, Windhoek Lager or Windhoek Draught. This is what any self-respecting beer drinker in Namibia will tell you. Being brewed by the Namibian Breweries according to the German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), it is a beer of highest quality.
The discerning traveller’s luggage is not complete unless Biltong and Dry Sausage are packed. Biltong is usually made from air-dried beef- and or game meat.
Air dried sausage may also include sheep fat and is spiced under secret family recipes. Traditionally Biltong goes back to times when refrigerators and other methods of preserving meat were not yet known, but people wandered through Africa’s wilderness for weeks or even months as a hunter, gatherer or on a long trek. Both Biltong and Dry Sausage are regional specialities which Namibians and fans from abroad particularly enjoy.
A rare and extremely special treat can be experienced solely during the rainy season, April/May, namely the Namibian Truffle. Namibia’s ‘golden’ truffles are found only in the sands of the Kalahari. With its distinctive rich, nutty flavour, it is an absolute must for any food enthusiast. Also found during the rainy season is another jewel of the Namibian food gems, the Omajova.
A plate-sized white mushroom endemic to Namibia and picked at the feet of Termite mounts. The best, and for some enthusiasts the only way to enjoy this gastronomic delight, is when fried in a little butter and finished off in a cream sauce.
Should the ‘braai’ not be entirely to the romantic in you, then do not despair as Namibia boasts a variety of Gourmets restaurants in Windhoek and Swakopmund. Namibia’s coast has a few very delectable delicacies on offer, including non-other than the famous oysters on ice, freshly from the seas of Walfish Bay and Lüderitz.
It is a well-known fact that a good wine rounds off a perfect meal. World known South African wines are readily available and greatly enjoyed. A must for any liqueur enthusiast is the Marula liqueur. This crème liqueur is extracted from the fruits of the Marula tree and promises to put that extra special touch to an already perfect evening.
Those who are interested in the delicacies of our ethnic groups can try dried mopane worms, drinks and food made from mahango (a type of millet), as well as spinach-like vegetables. Africa’s staple food, maize flour, is processed in Namibia into so-called “milliepap”, which is traditionally consumed at any time of the day as cooked maize porridge with milk and sugar or with hearty ingredients, and in a more solid form with sauce it goes very well with meat dishes at a braai.
Namibia’s cuisine promises to delight on every occasion.