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South African Food

Ever since the demise of the Cape Dutch Bakery I've been unable to find a source locally for boerewors, chackalacka, or any other of the delicious South African foods I used to get there. I have to send to NC at vast expense and so wors en pap has become a rare treat. Does anyone know where in the DC/Baltimore area I could get my hands on wors, pap, chackalacka, Mrs. Ball's chutney, etc.? I know Nando's is in DC but that's mainly chicken and I wanna have a lekker braai for my chinas this summer (a good barbecue for my friends).

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  1. This is a tough one. I either have to order it online or from my mother. DC metro area really needs a good Afrikaaner store.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sekelmaan

      It sure does. The odd thing is how the CDB just closed one day, no notice.

    2. Maybe you could call up the South African Embassy and ask for suggestions/leads.

      2 Replies
      1. re: comestibles

        I may have to. I'm not sure I know how to make wors myself!

        1. re: AngloAmerican

          Wors isn't that hard to make. Biltong is even easier.

      2. This is not really what you're looking for, but there's a South African restaurant in Charlottesville, Shebeen. You might call them as well as the embassy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: reiflame

          I think there's one in NY as well. I have to send to Charlottesville for wors and it's bloody expensive. Not the store's fault either, but to ship meats frozen is not cheap. <sigh> Thanks for the advice. Next time I'm there....

          1. re: reiflame

            I haven't been to the restaurant, but I once went to a wedding catered by Shebeen, and it was great!

          2. I've seen Mrs. Balls at Rodman's which has a modest South Africa section for ingredients and favorite imports.

            1. World Market carries Mrs. Ball's chutney. I really have no clue what the other stuff you're talking about is.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kelly5612

                Sadly, since Cape Dutch folded there is no real DC source. The Atlanta store blows, and I will not deal with them again. Your best bets are the embassy (for the wors), and then Rodmans/World Market for your groceries. My friend was just at the White Flint Rodman's and said that it was fully stocked with SA supplies! It is sad, but hey...what can one do? The Shebeen is GREAT, but such a hike...the mussels appetizer alone if worth it, but understandably the visit out there is not a regular occurrance. Good luck!

                1. re: Bokkechick

                  We have found Mrs. Balls, Fresh-pak Rooibos, and rusks at Rodman's, along with many other products manufactured in SA, though they are products mande and found in many countries, including the U.S. In other words, they are SA brands. Boerewors - nope. I suspect the problem is import restrictions. I wasn't surprised when Cape Dutch Bakery went under so suddenly. The shop was in the middle of nowhere, so most of his customers were in the DC area, and the guy was actually making the deliveries himself. Not a sustainable model.

                  There is also a SA restaurant in NYC called...Braai. They have boerewors on the menu. Guess you could ask if they will sell you some, but can't imagine that it wouldn't be at least as expensive as buying from North Carolina.

              2. The South African Food Shop in Matthews, NC has great wors, lekker biltong and bangers all
                of which I have had and continue to order .... shipping is expensive as it is spent overnight by
                well worth it ... check out the website at : www.southafricanfoodshop.com .......... phone number
                (704) 849-2660 ....... enjoy!

                1. I was recently able to purchase boerewors for South African friends at

                  Let's Meat On The Avenue
                  2403 Mount Vernon Avenue
                  Alexandria, Virginia
                  (703) 836-6328
                  Proprietor: Steve

                  The web site lists one or more regularly changing "sausage of the week". A couple of months ago boerewors and portugese sausages were offered. According to the web site, "All of our sausage are made on the premises and only contain fresh meat, herbs and spices, NEVER nitrates, nitrites, breadcrumbs chemicals or fillers of any kind."

                  The proprietor told me that he has over 100 sausage recipes and is willing to make them on request for a minimum order of about 3 pounds. He said that he has repeat South African customers who have told him that his boerewors are authentic. (Some said the sausage mix was a little leaner than what they used in South Africa, but that they preferred the leaner grind. I suspect that this could be adjusted to taste if he is making a custom order) . My friends said they were very happy with what I gave them.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Gary O

                    I bought some frozen vors at Arrowwine recently. It was made by a local sausage maker, whose name I forget. It was ok. I found it much milder than I was used to compared to my family's recipe, but a sufficient substitute when feeling lazy. Very curious to try the NC shops version.

                    1. re: Gary O

                      Gary you just saved my life. I am hosting a SA Wine and Braai at house in Bowie, MD to celebrate my wife's birthday and fundraise for an organization in Cape Town this Saturday (Sept 20). The NC store told me that it required me to make the order before Tuesday in order to get it by Friday even if delivery is overbite. I missed that Tuesday part and thought i could make an order Thursday for Friday delivery - no luck. I had about given up on the boerewors part and was going to settle for steak and lamb chops until I caught this site and Gay O's recommendation and web link to Lets Meat on the Avenue. They saved my life as they definitely HAD boerewors. Also ordered the lamb chops from them as well - Amazing. I too miss the Cape Dutch Bakery in Accokeek and I was a regular till it abruptly closed. Nice to have Nando's here in the DC area but its kinda strange to NOT have a decent South African restaurant here. But a SA Grocery store, bakery and butcher would be even better. I get Ceres, chutney and peri peri at Wegmans in Largo near where I live. Rusks, Creme Soda and the **tizers (Appletizer, peartizer, grapetizer) online from African Hut or the NC shop. Arrowwine? Where is that?

                    2. Joburg Kosher joburgkosher.com ships their authentic Boerewors right to you. The arrive very cold.

                      they also do outstanding biltong.

                      The fact that it's kosher is pretty irrelevant to the flavor. It's an indication of how many homesick South African Jews now live in the States.

                      1. You can contact me if you are looking for Boerewors, Droe wors and Biltong. 443 520 9367

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rsa55

                          Sorry but due to high Beef prices the above is not available at this time

                        2. I have been gone from DC for a few years now, but before I left Arrowine in Arlington was selling wors. It was like an artisin sausage maker, I don't think Afrikaner, but the ingredients looked pretty close. Might do the trick. Definitely call first to see if they still carry it. (They do have an awesome artisan cheese counter too.)

                          1. Meat on the Avenue on Mt Vernon Ave in Del Ray often has something labelled boerwurst. The current people working there are newish, and I suspect the recipe is left over from the previous guy, who had some sort of British Commonwealth accent, so I have no idea about authenticity or execution.