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Home Cooking In...South Africa?!?!?!?! [moved from Home Cooking board]


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Home Cooking In...South Africa?!?!?!?! [moved from Home Cooking board]

StrandedYankee | Mar 17, 2013 03:20 AM

My fiance (who grew up in Syracuse, NY) just received a job offer in Cape Town, South Africa. It's a tremendous professional opportunity for him...not just a promotion but a multiple-level promotion. So I (who was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA) said "Wither thou goest..." This means that we are speeding up the wedding and come this July, we will be moving to Cape Town.

For the record, the furthest I have ever lived from Philadelphia before this was in Nashville, TN. I am a decent basic home cook. Though I love eating in all kinds of ethnic restaurants and trying all kinds of exotic foods, I've never really tried cooking with them at home. Why not? Eh...Laziness is at least part of the answer. Also, at home I tend to like comfort-type foods. Braised chicken thighs or beef short ribs, meat loaves, lentil (or other kinds of vegetarian) chilies, salads and steamed fish with lemon and garlic or shrimp with Old Bay, glazed carrots, lightly cooked string beans, roasted butternut squash, zucchini and tomatoes with garlic and herbs de Provence in the summertime, baked or roasted potatoes, brown rice pilafs...Good stuff, reasonably nutritious, tasty, but nothing fancy or out of the way.

What I was hoping is that there might be a few people on this board who might be able to tell me what food will mean in South Africa. What should I expect in terms of produce? I've been told that the climate is similar to that of Southern California. Should I expect lots of wonderful produce year round? What should I expect to find in terms of produce? What meats and/or fishes are available at the best price to quality ratio? What should I expect to find in terms of fruits? What about cheeses? Yogurt? Kefir? Nuts? I've heard that milk in Africa can be different from what we're used to in the states. Is that true? What are some common/favorite busy wife dishes in South Africa? Are there any cookbooks that might be useful for someone in my position (decent basic cook needing a crash course in using the local ingredients)?

As an aside, if you know Cape Town and would be willing to share some information about favorite bars and restaurants, especially of the non-fancy, non-tourist trap variety please send me a message (I know moderators here frown on such posts in Home Cooking).

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