Sunday, February 8, 2015

South Africa: I'd rather have peaches

Apartheid came to an end while I was in high school. I can't find anything to back up this story, but I remember being told that in years past, students had discovered that the cafeteria sold canned peaches from South Africa. This alternative school was governed by a town meeting and the town meeting voted to put an end to the South African peaches. This must have been before the US embargo? In any case, when Apartheid ended in 1994, a letter was drafted informing South Africa that we were once again willing to buy their peaches. I was never much for school cafeteria food and by high school was solidly in the bring-your-lunch camp, so I don't know if there were peaches post-1994 or if they were South African, let alone what kind of peaches, if any are available today. I can report, that, at least off-campus there is very little South African food to be found in this area. By chance, I discovered that Let's Meat on the Avenue in Del Ray sells Boerewors, the traditional South African sausage. I hurried over to get some for dinner.

I wish I hadn't. In the shop, they told me that they had just perfected the recipe. Sigh. We really, really didn't like them. Boerewors are typically grilled in South Africa as I understand it. It's February here, so we cooked ours in the fireplace. But still, they were just not great. I mean, nobody died, but...they were awfully livery (and I like liver) and the spices seemed off. I also have to take a few points for forming them in a standard sausage shape (like a bratwurst or Italian sausage link) rather than the coil that I have read is typical. Moreover, the casings weren't sufficiently stuffed, making them unappetizingly floppy. I would have let this go if they'd been delicious, but sitting here with this greasy, livery situation in my stomach ... they could have at least made them look right. Let's Meat on the Avenue (which is one of my least favorite shop names around) also sells Biltong or South African jerky and I wish I'd gotten that instead (LMOTA sells it, but don't make it themselves). I want to like this shop. Del Ray is adorable and they are all about humanely raised meat....but the couple of times I've been in there, I haven't been all that impressed (take that meat out of the plastic wrap for starters!).

Let's Meat on the Avenue
2403 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria

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