By Adrian Parker, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017
South Africa was definitely a great food experience for me because of how diverse and fresh the food seemed to be. Being in South Africa definitely felt like I was in America (in more ways than one). They had eggs and bacon for breakfast, hamburgers and fries for lunch, and steak and potatoes for dinner. So, when it came to experiencing new and different foods, I cannot say that I did, but what I did notice was the random and discrete meat options that had for some meals. For example, when they had omelets they would offer the familiar bacon and ham, but they also would have pig kidney or beef liver as an option. I am very used to eating foods like that in my house when my mother cooks, but I have never seen those meat options in the type of restaurants we were in.
Even talking to other students, there was an obvious consensus that South Africa felt a lot like America, so it came as a surprise when they didn’t share the same brands that Americans use. They also lacked the amount of fast food that I was expecting (in the area that I was in which was Kalk Bay). They had ketchup, but not Heinz, they had Cola, but not Pepsi, and so on. At the end of the day I can conclude that South Africa definitely has much fresher and healthier food options that seem to only be a trend in America. I also had the great opportunity to go to the grocery store and cook about half of all the meals that I ate in South Africa. We often cooked eggs with fresh avocado, spinach, bell peppers, and mushrooms. For dinner we would cook spicy jalapeno chicken and beef stir fry that had onions, lemons, bell peppers, and other fresh vegetables that we bought at the local markets. We also had fresh watermelons, bananas, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and plums!