African cuisine is actually a fairly broad term referring to hundreds of different cultures across one of the largest continents in the World. It's also the cuisine I'm least familiar with preparing myself second only to Japanese. I take that back, It would be much easier to tell you the foods that I am familiar with preparing. Big World and all.
African cuisine ranges from Moroccan and Egyptian foods from the North (the ones I'm more inclined to make at home) think olives, oils, spices like cinnamon,nutmeg, ginger and saffron. And pantry staples such as couscous, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and onions. A friend of mine from Egypt recently introduced me to Rose water and orange water to sip on or add to cakes.
The "horn" of Africa might be what most people think of when Africa is mentioned and includes Somalia and Ethiopia to name a few.
Southern Africa has more of a European and Asian influence with a diet heavy in tropical fruits and seafood along with venison. Western regions of Africa rely on a diet heavy in meats like venison and starchy foods such as yams, various rices, millet (my favorite grain) sorghum and plantains and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and mint. Eggs are also a main source of protein.
O.K. obviously I find this stuff extremely interesting and in case you haven't noticed, indulge in a very wide variety of foods and tastes. This is why I was absolutely beyond thrilled to be invited to attend the Scottsdale Culinary Arts Festival for the Wines of South Africa Event (WOSA) this Saturday! Not only for the chance to experience the rich foods, exotic spices and wines from this region of the World but to able to actually chew and savor my food with a sip or two of wine masterfully paired from said region without stopping every 4.5 seconds to yell at someone to stop acting like a caveman at the dinner table! Maybe I'll even wear heels, Oooo, and lipstick!
If you live or will be in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area this weekend and want to experience one of the most popular, longest running events in the Nation and the largest contributor to The Scottsdale League of Arts I hope you will consider purchasing tickets. I will be attending the WOSA, (Wines from South Africa) "From BBQ to Braai" event Saturday evening which I believe is sold out but there are 6 full days of events featuring over 50 restaurants, World renowned chefs , beer festivals, wine tastings and live bands! If you are interested, buy your tickets with quickness at Scottsdale Culinary Arts Festival.
Africans quite possibly may have been the first people to enjoy BBQ!
Piri piri chicken, from Mozambique is one of the sweet and spicy charred foods I hope to indulge in.
Mozambique’s cuisine is a heady blend of African, Portuguese, oriental and Arab flavors -- think fragrant spices, hot piri piri and creamy coconut sauces, with hints of cashews and peanuts.
I hope to see you at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival! If not, I'll have a glass of wine for you and post pictures and reviews from my favorites soon!
Savor The Bold Flavors Of South Africa At The 2014 Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s “From BBQ To Braai” Scottsdale
Meet renowned chef Hugo Uys, sip fine South African wines
and taste traditional Braai cuisine, Saturday, April 12Who:Food lovers, travel junkies, BBQ fanatics and anyone else interested in celebrating traditional South African braai (BBQ) cuisine and live DJ music.
What:Home to world-renowned wines and a unique cooking scene combining cross-currents of European, African and Asian traditions, South Africa is one of the world’s culinary capitals. And now you can taste the best of this exotic destination without leaving the Valley as the 2014 Scottsdale Culinary Festival hosts the “From BBQ to Braai” Scottsdale tasting event on Saturday, April 12 (7 – 10 pm). Hosted at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, join famed South African chef, Hugo Uys, and sponsor, Wines of South Africa, for a culinary collaboration showcasing how traditional braai food compares with America’s own smoke-tinged masterpiece, BBQ. Plus enjoy live DJ music by acclaimed South African multi-media artist, Xander Ferreira – all for only $25 per person. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Scottsdale League for the Arts.
Similar to a potluck backyard BBQ here in America, a South African braai (pronounced BRY) is a casual outdoor gathering where friends and family converge to cook meats and seafood over a charcoal fire. Considered the go-to social event for South Africans, a true braai also features pap (a thickened crumb porridge) as well as salads and other side dishes. Here in Scottsdale, chef Hugo Uys will be creating a South African braai tasting event featuring select charcoal grilled meats as well as seasonal salads, side dishes and desserts paired with fine South African wines, a unique culinary experience that will only be offered in select cities across the US.
Voted “Best Annual Event” by AZCentral.com, “Best Culinary Event” by Arizona Foothills Magazine and winner of six AzTEC (Arizona Talent in Event Concepts)Awards, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival will be even tastier in 2014 thanks to notable new sponsors such as Saveur Magazine. That said, between the celebrity-chef dinners, cocktail soirees, a Champagne brunch, and a food-filled picnic, it’s easy to lose track of the Festival’s tastiest takeaway. Every year eager stomachs raise funds that are donated to numerous arts and arts education charities, with more than $3.8 million distributed since 2002. With the help of your appetite, we can raise even more in 2014. Mark your calendar and prepare your appetite, you won’t want to miss the 36th Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival.