5 November 2010 by Robyn Campbell

Real rainbow cuisine

There are many reasons to travel to the bushveld town of Groot Marico. It’s the birthplace of one of South Africa’s most famous authors, Herman Charles Bosman, and renowned for its Mampoer - an extremely potent, home-distilled fruit brandy.

Adventurous foodies though have special reason to visit, and that’s to experience traditional feast called the ‘seven colours’ at the Kortkloof Cultural Village.

Let me make it VERY clear at the outset, this isn’t a regular occurrence, so you can’t turn up in Groot Marico and ask ‘What time’s lunch at Kortkloof?’

The preparation that goes into the meal is tremendous, and to make it worth their while the women usually only prepare it for large tour groups.

So what you need to do is phone a few weeks (months even) ahead, and speak to someone at the information centre run by Santa van Bart who is ‘Mrs Marico Tourism’ (she knows everything and everyone in the district), and find out if/when the next big cook-up is happening.

Like all good cooks, the women are very particular about their ingredients. Preferring corn, they’ve grown and ground themselves; beef, on the bone, with a good amount of fat that will yield rich flavour, after hours of slow cooking.

The seven colours is traditional Ba-Tswana food that’s prepared for weddings and funerals, and consists of a beef stew, rice, and 5 different vegetables, served as a combination of hot dishes and salads.

The women also cook pap (finely ground white cornmeal), and bake diphaththa, or flat breads, and serve traditionally brewed sorghum beer with the meal.

Like all good cooks, the women are very particular about their ingredients. Preferring corn, they’ve grown and ground themselves; beef, on the bone, with a good amount of fat that will yield rich flavour, after hours of slow cooking.

Vegetable accompaniments would typically be pumpkin or sweet potatoes, a seasonal wild spinach called morogo, or failing that Swiss chard (spinach in South Africa), or cabbage.

A grated carrot salad, sliced beetroot salad, and boiled potato salad complete this colourful feast.

The joy of this meal is it’s authentic. The women cook and serve to you what’s available, what’s in season, and they prepare it no differently than they would for their families and communities.

Contact: Marico Tourism: info@marico.co.za

Category: Food & Wine

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