South Africans reveal their braai day essentials

This Heritage Day, ‘gees’ and heritage combine as Mzansi gets ready for the big show down between the Boks and Ireland, and to celebrate the diverse cultures that define us. The centrepiece of these festivities? The braai, according to 79% of South Africans who say they’ll be lighting up their coals for this special kuier.

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This is according to a snap poll that leading retailer Pick n Pay conducted with its Smart Shoppers. The results suggest that ‘Saffas’ are serious about flavour, with 73% of people saying they’re planning to find fresh inspiration from braai recipes from family and friends. Understanding the significance of this occasion for South Africans, Pick n Pay is taking the braai experience to new heights, bringing new flavours, protein and fresh options to the table this braai occasion with their “Let’s Cook Braai” range.

Nicki Russell, head of product & quality at Pick n Pay, says, “Food innovation for the summer braai has been 12 months in the making at Pick n Pay and we are delighted to reveal new options; from succulent BBQ pork kebabs and sweet, sticky Tikka spatchcock chicken, to sides including jalapeno and cheese ciabatta rolls to elevate those braai sarmies to a whole new level.”

Of course, all braais need slaai. In fact, 67% of South Africans are planning to have greens on the menu. “We are also encouraging South Africans to get creative with their braais, offering a variety of seasonal spring ingredients for stunning salads, such as Tatayoyo and robot peppers. Then we suggest a topping of our new salty, crispy bacon sprinkles to bring it home.” 

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of South Africans said they’re eager to try unique marinades and spice blends, all of which pack a punch with a focus on flavour from the new range. 

As much as South Africans are promising to get creative, the old staples still come out tops. 74% of participants said ‘boerie’ is in poll position as their braai must-have, ahead of chops, chicken and lamb. Potatoes are another fan favourite and ongoing fixture, with over six varietals stocked. From All-Purpose, Soft Cooking, Large Chipping and Up-to-Date, there are no shortages to bring your potato dishes to life this summer.

Interestingly, the plant-based trend hasn’t translated fully (yet) to braai culture, with just 6% citing plant-based options as regular features.  Despite this, Pick n Pay has introduced a range of non-meat items that will be a perfect addition for any braai or entertaining occasion, including mushroom grillers, chickpea bites, sweetcorn riblets and tofu cubes to top off your salad.”

The Braai Master

Only a brave 29% of shoppers proudly take the title of ‘braai master’; 71% of South Africans prefer to kick-back, relax and place the tongs in someone else’s hands. 19% say they’re happy to serve as co-braai master or salad virtuoso, and just 1% deem themselves the designated drink provider, making it clear that BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) is the order of the day. The beverage of choice? Nearly half of respondents opt for beers or ciders, while just 35% go for wine. 

While the braai fires will blaze across South Africa this Heritage Day, it’s essential to remember that the day holds deeper significance. South Africans said that beyond the mouthwatering dishes, the true essence of this day lies in fostering respect and understanding for their diverse cultures and traditions. It’s a day to unite as South Africans and celebrate our shared identity.

Russell concludes, “A braai is no longer just a ‘tjop and dop’; for Pick n Pay, it’s an occasion to innovate and bring in new flavours to bring families together. For those seeking to elevate their Heritage Day feasts, Pick n Pay beckons with fresh and high-quality offerings.

Visit your nearest Pick n Pay store today or shop on the asap! app to embark on a culinary journey that honours the heart and soul of South Africa’s heritage.”

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