As published on Taste.co.za:
While a small percentage of traditional South African ingredients get all the press, there are hundreds of spectacular flavours that seldom get a mention. The 100 Flavours exhibition at Maker’s Landing in Cape Town aims to change that. Here’s a small taste of what to expect.
South African cuisine has more richness, diversity and inventiveness than many other celebrated world cuisines. And while certain favourites like malva pudding and Peppermint Crisp tart are widely celebrated, there are plenty of dishes that remain a secret known only by the community who created them – and those lucky enough to be invited to dinner! At Maker’s Landing, a food incubation hub at the V&A Waterfront, curator Hannerie Visser worked with food anthropologist Anna Trapido and exhibition stylist Ilana Swanepoel to try and change this.
“We started off thinking that a hundred was quite a lot, and we very quickly realised it wasn’t enough!” says Anna of the process of curating the exhibition.
If you count the exhibits, you’ll discover there are slightly over 100 flavours, because they simply couldn’t edit out some of their favourites. “The aim was not to get a definitive hundred. We were looking for a discussion rather than a definitive list. We actually don’t need 100 – we need an archive!”
In order to make the list as regionally, ethnically and economically comprehensive as possible, the curators consulted with food experts from around the country. Some of the individuals that the curators credit include the late great Dorah Sitole, Justice Mathupe – Limpopo edible insect tracker extraordinaire, TASTE’s contributing editor Khanya Mzongwana – for insight into PE street food, Nikki Brighton at Mphopomeni Food for insight into KZN indigenous plants, Tracy Nelwamondo of Modern Traditions for finding marula nuts out of season, Mpumalanga heritage food activist Praising Mabunda, chef and cookbook author Karen Dudley, Mokgadi Mabela – for honey advice, Mira Harie of Spice Emporium, Mohammed Adam – for insight into the SA Indian Diaspora, Mohammed Mohidien – for insight into the SA Indian Diaspora, Grant Cambray the iKarri African mead expert, Michael Daiber at !Khwa ttu, Kgaladi Thema at Indiza, chef Siya Kobo – for insight into Pondoland indigenous edible plants, Retang Phaahla at Setsong for sourcing the ZCC Mountain tea, foraging expert Loubie Rusch – for insight into Cape indigenous plants, Caroline McCann of Braeside Butchery and journalist Errieda du Toit – for the Jodetert and so much more.