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The culinary delights of the Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is rich in history and culture and part of its unique heritage also lies in its cuisine.

Whether you explore the ancient food culture of the Khomani San or a local pub in Kimberley, the variety of food that that the Northern Cape province offers will speak to any food fundis fancy.

The Northern Cape is predominantly arid, and what arable land there is, is used to farm cattle and sheep, and to stock game for safaris or hunting. The red sands of the Kalahari appear empty, but for those who care to look, Northern Cape food terroir offers a plethora of ancient and unique tastes.

In the north-west of the province, one can experience the ancient culinary culture of the Khoikhoin. Descended from the earliest San hunter-gatherers, Khoikhoin cooks use indigenous edible flowers, plants and bulbs, known as veldkos, to create delicacies like num-num preserve, agurkie jam, and kukumakranka liqueur.  

The Karoo is known its quality meat and the diets of the Karoo goats and lambs contribute to their superb taste. They frequent indigenous edible plants, including wild mint, wild garlic, buchu and purslane.  

Those wishing to sample regionally specific cuisine should stop off at the Hantam Huis in Calvinia, where kambro preserves are served alongside wild rosemary-infused venison and roasted sheep’s head.

Delicious dried fruit can also be found in Kakamas, while Upington serves up fresh roosterkoek and potjiekos.

Let the feasting begin!