At &Beyond, not only do we love to celebrate, we also love to eat. Food is as much a part of the &Beyond experience as the wildlife, people and inspired travel planning.
We are firm believers that calories don’t count when you’re on holiday and we encourage our guests to relax, unwind and indulge at every opportunity (and boy, are there plenty of those). Did you know that there are seven official mealtimes for guests on an &Beyond safari? We’ll tell you more about those another time…
One thing’s for sure, &Beyond guests travelling in Africa, South Asia and South America can look forward to a veritable feast for the senses. Here are our 15 must-try foods from around the world. Bon appétit!
No morning drinks stop on a South Africa luxury safari is complete without a kick-start jolt of caffeine to invigorate the senses and make you feel alive. Bush coffee (or Mocha Rocka Choca Vula Vala as many of our rangers more affectionately refer to it) is the harmonious blend of piping hot, freshly brewed coffee with a creamy dose of rich hot chocolate, topped with a most generous splash of Amarula Cream (a popular African liqueur made from the exotic Marula fruit).
The perfect (dare we suggest necessary) companion to the morning cup of energising bush coffee, South Africa’s beloved crunchie is a traditional oatmeal cookie bar. A simple recipe passed on from generation to generation, these buttery, moreish morsels of honey and oat goodness are pretty much impossible to resist. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
A must-try treat on any Kenya or Tanzania luxury safari is the classic mandazi. These bite-sized, melt-in-your-mouth traditional Swahili donuts are coated with a sweet dusting of sugar and cinnamon and are the perfect, on-the-go safari snack. Bet you can’t eat just one!
The oh-so sinful, but totally worth every calorie, malva pudding is also a firm favourite in most South African households. The ultimate in comfort food, this simple, yet wickedly warm and sticky dessert is a definite crowd pleaser.
Peri peri sauce
Piri piri peppers, also known as African bird’s eye chili, have grown wild in Africa for centuries. ‘Piri’ is the Swahili word for pepper and these fiery hot little peppers are used to make the world-famous peri peri sauce, a Mozambican specialty. The expert chefs at our luxury lodges in Mozambique (&Beyond Vamizi and Benguerra Islands) have concocted the perfect mix of flavour and spice and their mouth-wateringly succulent peri peri prawn, chicken or crayfish dishes are to-die-for.
Perhaps India’s most loved sweet dish, jalebi are very much a part of the Indian culture and are savoured throughout the homes, streets and festivals of the Subcontinent. A wheat flour batter is deep-fried into coiled, pretzel-like shapes, and then soaked in sugary syrup. The result is a thin, crisp and deliciously sweet delicacy that melts in your mouth.
A popular must-try street food in Delhi is aloo tikki, which are made with boiled potatoes, onions and aromatic Indian spices. These savoury snacks are deep fried to perfection and served warm alongside a variety of zesty dipping sauces and yoghurt.
Milk is carefully boiled, delicately sweetened with palm sugar, seasoned with a pinch of cardamom and then set aside in clay pottery bowls to ferment overnight. The result is a sweet, ever so popular, Bengali yoghurt that is delightfully simple, yet utterly addictive.
Spicy food lovers will devour this classic signature Kerala dish, which is made with tender pieces of mutton, onions, garlic, ginger and fiery red chillies. A harmony of flavours, this tasty dish is served as an appetiser or a main meal.
Tropical jackfruit trees grow in the lush rainforests of India’s Western Ghats and their large, juicy fruits are the national fruit of Bangladesh. The ever popular jackfruit chips are a widespread snack enjoyed in southern India. The half-ripe flesh of a jackfruit is chopped into French fry-like pieces and deep fried to delicious, golden perfection.
Seafood (and sushi) lovers will rave about this popular Peruvian dish, which is now widespread across the continent. Fresh, raw pieces of succulent fish are cured in a tangy citrus juice, doused with just the right amount of chili, and served with finely chopped onion and cilantro. It is light, healthy and bursting with flavour.
So delicious it is actually the national drink of both Chile and Peru, the ever-popular pisco sour is a tangy, refreshing cocktail that pairs beautifully with ceviche, among other things. It is made from pisco, a locally-made white brandy, and mixed with egg whites, lime juice, sugar syrup, ice and Angostura bitters.
Image courtesy of: Tierra Atacama.
This melt-in-your-mouth delicacy will tempt any sweet tooth! Impossible to resist, traditional alfajores are made with two small shortbread biscuits that are sandwiched together with a decadent dulce de leche (sweet, sticky caramel) filling and topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar and grated coconut and or chocolate. Sinful and utterly irresistible, these are a staple in South American cuisine.
Argentinians are self-confessed carnivores, so it’s no surprise that Argentina is world-famous for its tender, juicy steak. Their festive asados (barbecues) are always overflowing with tender, delicious meats of all cuts and varieties. It is a meat lover’s paradise.
Also prevalent at asados, and a fantastic option for vegetarians and cheese connoisseurs alike, is provoleta. Thick rounds of provoleta cheese (Argentina’s version of provolone) are grilled to heavenly perfection on the barbecue and topped with chilli flakes and oregano. The nearly melted cheese is crispy and lightly caramelised on the outside, whereas the inside is a melting pot of cheesy, smoky and gooey goodness.
We recommend you wash it all down with a bottle of Malbec, Argentina’s flagship red wine.
Carb lovers will go crazy for these little flavour-filled pastry pockets, which are sinfully deep fried or freshly baked – take your pick! There is such a wide assortment of flavourful fillings (from traditional beef and potato or curried chicken, to cabbage and pork or mushroom and cheese), they’ll have you coming back for more.