Foodie fun at the Soweto Eat In
I went to the Slow Food Johannesburg’s Soweto Eat In. It was at the Soweto Theatre. The Soweto Eat In is a food festival that is held once a year where they host all sorts of different farmers and chefs. They do it to show how nice South African food is.
Each year they get an Nguni cow and portion it out and get a whole lot of different chefs to make meals using the different cuts of meat. It must be a very big cow or maybe they get more than one. Nguni is a kind of cow that has evolved to live in Africa. Because it evolved in this land it is immune to some of the diseases that other sorts of cows get. It has beautiful skin where the patches and colours are very pretty. And it tastes great. I had been to the Soweto Eat In before and I had enjoyed it so I was keen to go again.
Before we even left Hartbeespoort (where I live) I was hungry because I had only had one piece of toast for breakfast. So, my mum let me stop at the Jasmyn Market in Hartbeespoort and we got me a bacon and cheese bread stick from the Tostatos stall to eat on the way. They are great – I like bacon and bread and cheese and together they taste wonderful.
Then we drove to Soweto. It was long. Very long. My mum made me do my Kumon homework on the way. Maths and English. It was hell. But finally we got to Soweto. I really like Soweto. I like the old buildings and I like that kids play in the street. It is old fashioned in a good way. I only get to do it with my friends when my mum doesn’t know – sometimes we just take the gate key and leave. These Soweto children were really little but they were allowed to be in the street. When we got to the Soweto Theatre we saw it was really full. There wasn’t parking but a nice guard helped us find a space. It wasn’t a real parking spot but he helped us squeeze in. The Soweto Theatre is big. It has a curved side which is sloped like a ramp. The security guys don’t like you to run up it but children do.
It was packed. There was a band they were singing African style music which I like a lot. It was very loud. All the chefs were dancing.
It was so loud that I tried to write down people’s names but I didn’t manage to hear what everyone said. So some names are missing. The first thing I saw was a cage of rabbits. They looked cold. There were chickens too.
Then there was a guy selling purple potatoes and multi coloured corn and all sorts of seeds.
There was a lady called Tracy Nelwamondo selling baobab and marula butter – it tasted exactly like peanut butter.
There was another lady called Ntombi Ndwandwe who had a whole lot of African seeds such as sorghum and millet and cow peas. She had the African names and the scientific names for each product.
There was a Zimbabwean stall they were selling black jack herbal tea. All I know about black jacks is that it is a plant with sticky irritating seeds that attach to your clothes. They can be very irritating. I discovered this the other day when my dad lost his glasses and I tried to help him find them in a place with lots of blackjacks. I was out-numbered by them and I didn’t find the glasses. But the tea was better than that experience.
At the next stall was a man called Carlo selling tea made from a Cape Town plant called buchu. My mum bought some dombolo dumpling bread. she talked to her friend Loubie who had brought jams made from numnum berries. I got a Coke from the bar.
Then I met some farmers from Malamulele in Limpopo. They wrote down Malamulele for me because I hadn’t heard of it before. They had beans and dried pumpkin flowers and peanuts too.
Then there were farmers from the Wegraakbosch farm. It is an organic farm that makes cheese also in Limpopo.
Next to them were sausage makers who I think were from the Free State but I am not sure.
Then we saw a hat stall. I lost my school sun hat a few weeks ago. My mum was crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooooooosssssssssssssssss! It was cool and expensive but now I needed a new one. Luckily we found a stall called Deep Soweto and they sell hats. I got a universe hat. It has the Deep Soweto logo on it and it looks like the universe with pictures of stars all over it. You will see what I mean in the picture.
Then I went to try the food at the cooking competition. You pay R100 and you get tickets so you can try all the different parts of the Nguni cow cooked in different ways. It is a competition you eat and decide which one is the best. If you like one best you have to put a golden ticket into a box with their name on.
First, I tried a sort of fried bun filled with a curry and an apricot chutney from a chef called Adele.
I thought it was lovely. The curry was very gentle but there was a spice flavor. Then I tired a bun made from sorghum and inside it was filled with spinach, pulled beef, herb dressing and chakalaka.
It came with sweet potato fries. I liked it but I liked it less than the curry balls from Adele. Then I had oxtail from a chef called Stefano Strafella which was amazing but not more amazing than Adele’s curry balls.
Then I had a roti thing that was made with rump meat and filled with so many things it could feed an army.
I liked Adele’s the best but in the end Chef Stefano won. It was good too so that is okay.
Then I went back and got to cuddle one of the rabbits – it was nice but it scratched like crazy because it was scared. I got very cross when I realized later that the bunny was for sale for eating. But I didn’t know that at the time. I should have bought it and had it as my pet. But because I didn’t know I just ran up and down on the ramp on the wall.
On the way home my mum made me do some more Kumon. It took me nearly the whole way home to finish and I live an hour and a half away from Soweto. Don’t worry I am not dead yet. I would recommend the Soweto Eat In to those who live near Soweto or people who live far away and have a lot of Kumon homework to do.