The word “braai” probably originated from the Dutch word Braden, meaning to roast, which is logical as Dutch evolved into a sister language known as Afrikaans.
Besides being very local, this sociable cooking method is also to be found in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The word “braai” is truly South African in this beautiful country not only because of the food but the vibe brought about by the union of friends and family.
Historically some time shortly after humans took control over fire, cooking meat commenced in this way, probably by accident when raw chunks fell into the fire.These primitive folk then realized that meat was far tastier, easier to chew, more easily digested than in the raw state and had a higher nutritional value.
According to the “purists” braai’ing is not a simple process, even an art form and that it is sacrilege to omit meat from the fire. Those cooks under scrutiny might have to endure comments such as “OH boy, does he need some lessons on how to braai !”
However, a large number of people have opted to become vegetarians and this by no means excludes them as many non-meat foods are quite suitably cooked on the coals.
Certain braai etiquette should exist, the host normally letting the invitees know what to bring such as snacks, salads and alcohol. Much of the gaiety arises from the initiation of cracking open beers, pouring of wine and passing around biltong - the experience truly begins !
Much chatter then ensues which often progresses to inebriated blabbering by late afternoon with all and sundry having the solution as to how the country should be run !
But dear fellow South Africans whatever activities are on the agenda or how you intend to braai, have a wonderfully , peaceful and happy well deserved Heritage day this Sunday the 24th !