Whenever I travel there is only one thing I really miss about South Africa. I bet you’re thinking that it’s my family I miss. No? Perhaps the great weather? Sometimes, yes. The open roads and high sky? Of course. But that’s not it either. Of all the things I love about South Africa, it’s a long-time tradition that I miss. It is a tradition dating back to my country’s beginnings, a tradition that brings family and friends together, one that is suited to sunny summer mornings and chilly winter evenings, even to late night homecomings, a tradition singularly South African and oh so lekker.
I’m talking about rusks, those chunky buttermilk slices of goodness made by the legendary Ouma.
In all my wanderings I have met only one foreigner who knew what a rusk was, and even fewer who understood my description of this heavenly treat. A rusk is not like biscotti nor is it something you feed small children. It is a sweet and crunchy baked snack best eaten with a mug of hot tea (or coffee or hot chocolate).
Step 1: Pour yourself a cup of tea, sit down and get comfortable.
Step 2: Dip your rusk into your mug, paying careful attention to the timing so your rusk becomes soft, but not too soft to break off.
Step 3: Bite off the soft section, chew and enjoy.
Step 4: Share your box of rusks with your friends.