In as much as travel writers are tempted to showcase the glitz and the glamour; as a South African travel writer, I am fully persuaded that our local ways, markets, informal food stalls and"malls" are also worthy of showcasing.

I have written about Sandton City Mall, in the economic hub of Johannesburg, which is located in an affluent area of Johannesburg and features advanced infrastructure. The mall was loaded with local and international food options in the Food Court and packed with people who could not get enough. 

However, while driving around the North West, I came across some gems which were just as popular, especially amongst the local people of Mzansi (South Africa). There were vans loaded with homegrown chickens, wheelbarrows full of spinach and veggies neatly packaged in plastics hanging from metal nails and other objects. 

What really caught my attention were the crowds that constantly gathered around these informal "markets" to satisfy their needs and wants for fresh food. Unlike in the affluent areas where one could get labelled foods with stickers for "organic" and/or "non-organic" grown foods; this food had no fancy wrappers and labels and yet it was delightfully crisp and delicious. 

Sellers sat on crates or stood with the delicious food on display. One could also buy "run-aways" (chicken feet), "skop" (the head of a goat or cow) and other traditional delicacies to feast on. The happy customers who flocked to these places could not stop raving about them and their convenience because they did not have to go to the cities or far away to get fresh food.

I have stopped along the way on several occasions to support local businesses and also get fresh fruit and veggies. Several cultures also prefer freshly slaughtered chicken (often referred to as "hard body") to the one you buy in conventional shops.

Next time you are driving around in the North West and are looking for something to indulge in; consider stopping at one of these many informal places for some yummy homegrown goodness. Apply sunscreen (available from Amazon) and if safe to do so, take a selfie with your digital camera (available from Amazon) at tag us online. While you are at it, have a look at these braai/barbeque recipe books (available from Amazon)

If you know of such a spot, please consider leaving a comment below. 

Living chickens and homegrown veggies are commonly sold at informal food markets. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiLiving chickens and homegrown veggies are commonly sold at informal food markets. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Wheelbarrows full of spinach are a hit at this informal food market. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiWheelbarrows full of spinach are a hit at this informal food market. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

 

 

 

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