Sandy Salle from Hills of Africa has an exciting new cookbook out called Taste of Africa. Sandy has guested posted with me before so when I saw she had this book out I knew I had to ask her a few questions about the book and Africa. Here is what Sandy had to say.
How many trips to Africa have you made / taken?
I was actually born and raised in Zimbabwe and eventually made my way to the States! I now live in North Carolina and have been visiting Africa at least twice a year for the past 15 years. Most of my family still lives there! Today, I visit Africa to stay up to date on accommodations, as well as guide trips and visit my family. And now, I have the opportunity to bring my own family to Africa.
What is the most fascinating thing you find about Africa? I know it’s probably hard to pick one thing.
The way it makes me feel when I’m there. From the warm and friendly people to the untouched landscape and wildlife, and the fascinating history and rich cultures to the fantastic cuisine and locally made South African wines, Africa has the distinct ability to make me feel complete bliss. There’s no where else on earth that can make me feel so calm and joyful!
Most of my readers have families. What are some things families can do if they were to plan a trip to Africa?
We plan dozens of African family safaris a year and those are some of our favorite itineraries to create! Whether families enjoy adventurous activities together, learning about history, volunteering at a community project, exploring exotic cultures, or simply exploring new places, there are so many wonderful ways for families to experience the magic of Africa.
Depending on how old your children are there are a wide variety of ways to explore Africa. Here are just a few ideas:
• Sit poolside as you overlook the wildlife-rich Serengeti plains
• Find solitude in a spa treatment while the children are exploring the plant life of Africa on a kid-friendly African safari tour
• Immerse yourself into the local community projects of South Africa on a philanthropic cultural tour
• Learn about the Sans tribe’s ancient survival skills on an interactive bushwalk in Botswana
• Enjoy the adrenaline of zip lining over Victoria Falls as a family (this is one of my kids’ favorite things to do when we visit Zimbabwe!)
• Witness the Big Five on an exciting game drive through Hwange National Park
• Visit South Africa’s Elephant Sanctuary, Birds of Eden, and Monkeyland for an up-close look at some of Africa’s most majestic creatures
The list literally goes on and on, but one thing that families should take away from this interview is that Africa allows you to bond with your loved ones in one of the most spectacular places on earth. From the Big Five and diverse wildlife to spectacular scenery and hospitable people and cultures, the life-altering experiences in Africa cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The Hills of Africa has a new cookbook out, Taste of Africa. What is the premise behind creating this cookbook?
One of my favorite things about Africa is enjoying the spectacular cuisine with my family as we overlook a wildlife-bustling watering hole, interact with fellow travelers and newfound friends, and share stories around the fire. Each and every time I make a dish at home for my family, I am always transported to some of the happiest moments I’ve had in Africa, with great food and friends at the center of each experience. It was through my fundamental philosophy that food has the unique ability to evoke warm emotions and touching memories, that I created a Taste of Africa recipe book.
The book was created with the help of the Hills of Africa team, as well as some of my favorite African accommodations, Impress Inc. (the designer of the book), and Corporate Renegade (our marketing team).
It is my hope that a Taste of Africa will help individuals (whether they are novice cooks or experienced chefs) take an unforgettable culinary journey to Africa with friends and family.
With 60 authentic African recipes, foodies are guaranteed to find a wide gamut of recipes that will quickly become staples in their kitchen!
Are the ingredients in these recipes going to be easily found here in the United States?
Yes, all of the ingredients found in the recipe book can be found in most regular grocery stores in the United States. There are a few recipes that I listed some substitution ingredients, should you have difficulty finding some of the original ingredients in your average grocery store.
Well because I am not a cook and I know you worked with culinary experts, is a novice going to be able to make these dishes?
Absolutely! I would consider all the recipes to be easy to intermediate. I wouldn’t rate any of them as “difficult.”
What type of food is Africa known for?
Influenced by settlers throughout the years, African cuisine boasts rich flavors from around the world. The Germans brought pastries, and the Dutch settlers carried a variety of seeds from Europe. French settlers introduced wine to the Cape area of South Africa, while the English shared recipes for vegetable-rich stews. And because many of the traditional English and Dutch stews were bland, the Malaysian slaves–traded by the Dutch East India Company–brought some of their native spices to Africa. All of these influences blend together to create a unique dining experience.
Some of the most common cuts of meat you’ll find in Africa include lamb, chicken, and beef–as well as more exotic cuts such as springbok and ostrich!
Common dishes you’ll find in Africa include roti—a flaky, pastry-like dish filled with curry and minced lamb or chicken; samosa—a delicious triangular pastry filled with curry, cheese, and chicken or lamb, that is deep fried to perfection; bobotie—one of my favorite dishes, which is comprised of ground beef cooked in an egg custard; sosaties—sweet-curry-marinated kebabs comprised of lamb, chicken, or mutton; and Bredie—a slow-cooked stew comprised of meat, vegetables and an edible lily called a waterblommetjie
When you return home, what is one food you miss or crave the most?
That’s a tough one! I have brought so many recipes home, which I cook on a regular basis, but one of my favorite traditional African dishes is Bobotie. This is a very traditional dish served throughout southern Africa, and it’s one of?my favorites. Not only is the dish hearty and full of bold flavors, but it also reminds me of my home in Zimbabwe. It’s sort of like a casserole and contains onions, ground beef, milk, white bread, curry powder, turmeric, and other very rich ingredients and flavors. It’s perfect to serve at a family gathering!
I am sure by now we are all jealous about Africa and your many trips; tell us how would we go about booking a family African Safari?
Yes, I am so unbelievably fortunate and lucky to be able to experience Africa as much as I do. And what’s even more amazing is that I get to help other people experience the trip of a lifetime in Africa—nothing is more rewarding than hearing from my clients about their life-changing trips to Africa.
For families interested in booking a family African safari through us, we encourage you to call us at 800.940.9344 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once we hear from you, we can begin designing your dream and completely customized African family safari vacation based on your exact needs and preferences.
We are so unbelievably proud of this book and all of the amazing restaurants and kitchens that are featured in it! I hand selected each of the recipes to ensure that the book would not only be well-rounded in its selection, but also so that it would be a one-of-a-kind cookbook—and it is! The book even contains recipes that were given to me by my mum, Annabelle, whom I love with all my heart; my best friend and sister, Pam; my beautiful sister-in-law, Edz; and my very generous mother-in-law, Lynn. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we all do. Family is the heart and soul of a meal, after all.
Check in on Friday for my New Food Friday section where Sandy shares one of her recipes and find out how you can get this awesome book for yourself.