We recently had a TV competition series to find the ultimate braai master.
Firstly, there wasn’t much going on in terms of braai but we saw a lot of non-traditional sides being prepared.
Secondly, the presenter erred in referring to Cape Point as the southern tip of Africa. He only missed that meeting point, Agulhas, with about 250km.
A lot of pork belly was cooked. I can’t even begin to imagine where this came from other to say that, in no way possible, this could be a braai thing. We who come from the original BRAAI TRIBE simply don’t do pork belly.
Pork, in fact is very low on the list, possibly at the bottom, of things to braai. I’m approaching the age of sixty and can count the number of braais where pork chops or ribs on a grid, on my two hands. At least in five out of nine provinces, pork is almost persona non grata at a braai.
As of late, pork bellies adorn almost every table on TV cooking shows nowadays. We recently had no other meat in our nearest retail store, not even fresh fish or chicken. As we live in harmony among many Jews and Muslims, other types of meat obviously do get sold out nearer to closing time.
Our pork chops got really, really well done and camouflaged with herbs and spices. Yet both of us had stiff limbs and painful muscles for three to four days. It was lean pork with very little visible fat.
We once rented a farmhouse. The farmer let his very large sties out to a pig breeder. It was atrocious and filthy, it was evident that pigs can’t be food.
On a day, the vet came to treat a few cattle. Not long after, the State vet arrived and closed the entire piggery down, banned the entire otherwise very neat farm and four neighbouring ones from breeding pigs for the next twenty five years.
We buy our meat at Kosher and Halaal counters now, ensuring that none of that animal comes anywhere near our food. A supervised process from abattoir to table.
Visitors or foreigners who had watched the series sadly now have really wrong idea of what a braai is. How they did it may be unique to Johannesburg, a city lacking in established older traditions. If that is how they braai, I’d rather settle for Italian food or just a home made salad.
The gory thing is that TV chefs serve pink pork. They don’t even know how to prepare it. While building my stake, take off some time to learn a bit about things such as tapeworm, parasites, tricinosis and other scary things especially in pork.
Science had proved long ago that pork is carcinogenic. That should be making it easier to decide what to eat from the menu!