Lists and Curiosities

South Africa’s Bizarre Foods: 10 Unusual Dishes to Tantalize Your Taste Buds

Explore the exotic culinary world of South Africa with these 10 Unusual South Africa's Dishes to Tantalize Your Taste Buds.


South Africa has a rich and diverse culinary culture that reflects the country’s history, geography, and multicultural society. 

While many traditional South African dishes are well-known and loved, some unusual and lesser-known dishes are worth trying. 

You will find exotic fruits and some unusual meats, but South Africa’s cuisine offers a tantalizing and adventurous experience for foodies. 

In this article, we will explore 10 unusual South African dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.

It’s time! Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a culinary adventure through South Africa’s bizarre foods.


Biltong is a type of cured meat that is similar to jerky but is made from larger cuts of meat, typically beef or game meats such as ostrich or springbok. The meat is seasoned with a blend of spices and then air-dried for several days until it becomes hard and chewy. Biltong is a popular snack food in South Africa and is often enjoyed while watching sports or drinking beer.


Boerewors is a type of sausage that is a staple of South African cuisine. It is made from a blend of beef and pork, with spices such as coriander, cloves, and nutmeg. Boerewors are typically grilled or cooked on an open flame and are often served with pap, a type of maize porridge.

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is a unique South African dish that originated in Durban. It consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a spicy curry, typically made with chicken or mutton. Bunny Chow is a popular street food in South Africa and is often eaten with the hands.

Mopane Worms

Mopane Worms is a traditional South African delicacy that is often enjoyed in rural areas. They are the caterpillars of the Emperor Moth and are typically dried, boiled, or fried before being eaten. Mopane Worms are high in protein and are said to have a nutty flavor.


Chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish that is often served as a side dish with meat or pap. It typically contains onions, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots, and is flavored with curry powder, garlic, and ginger. Chakalaka is a popular dish in South Africa and is often served at braais or South African barbecues.

Pap en Vleis

Pap en Vleis is a traditional South African meal that consists of pap, a type of maize porridge, and grilled meat. The meat is typically beef, lamb, or pork, and is marinated in a blend of spices before being cooked on an open flame. Pap en Vleis is a staple of South African cuisine and is often enjoyed at family gatherings and special occasions.


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Amarula Don Pedro

Amarula Don Pedro is a delicious South African cocktail that is made with Amarula, a creamy liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree. The liqueur is blended with ice cream and poured over crushed ice, creating a smooth and creamy drink that is perfect for hot summer days.


Bokkoms are a type of dried fish that is a traditional delicacy in the Western Cape region of South Africa. The fish, typically small mullets or maasbankers, are salted and then air-dried in the sun. Bokkoms are often eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and stews.


Umngqusho is a traditional South African dish that is made with samp and beans. The samp is a type of corn that has been crushed and then dried, while the beans are typically kidney beans or sugar beans. The two ingredients are boiled together

Walkie Talkies

Walkie-talkies are chicken feet that are cleaned, boiled, and fried with onions and spices. The dish is popular in Soweto and other townships in South Africa. The name “walkie-talkies” comes from the fact that people used to carry them around like walkie-talkie radios.

The dish has a unique texture, with a gelatinous consistency from the tendons and skin. It is often served as a snack or side dish and is popular among locals as a street food. Some people even use walkie-talkies to make soup.

While these may seem like unusual dishes to outsiders, they are a vital part of South African cuisine and culture. If you ever find yourself in South Africa, don’t be afraid to try something new and expand your culinary horizons.

About the author  /  Iana Power

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