Five snacks that South Africans abroad miss the most

What is your favourite South African snack? Perhaps Eat-Sum-Mor, Lemon Cream biscuits, Provitas or Ouma’s buttermilk rusks? Since 2017, many South Africans have struggled to import South African products into the United Kingdom. This is apparently because of South Africa’s lack of a residue control plan that requires food produce with animal-derived ingredients to be obtained under certain measures. What is weird is that many chocolates like BAR.ONE, Caramel Creams, CHOCOLATE LOG and various other biscuits are also affected by this new measure.

Luckily, there are many South African products that the world may still enjoy; and each with its own interesting story.

Here are five products that South Africans miss the most when they settle themselves abroad.

Creme Soda

Creme Soda – the green fixer-upper from Sparletta that everyone’s knows. But did you know that Creme Soda is only green in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe? In New Zealand it is yellow, and also in Hong Kong, where it is even drunk with fresh milk. In the Netherlands, the drink is called Fizz and is a caramel colour; in America it is lightly brown and in Canada pink!

Peppermint CRISP 

Peppermint CRISP was created in South Africa by Wilson-Rowntree and is produced today by Nestlé. Peppermint CRISP is sold in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It is of course also used in South Africa to make Peppermint CRIPSP tart, but in Australia and New Zealand is often used to give a Pavlova dessert an extra flavour.

Ouma rusks

Ouma rusks was baked for the first time in 1939 during the Great Depression by Elizabeth Ann Greyvensteyn from the Eastern Cape. The first rusks were initially sold under the name Outspan Rusks, but the name was later changed to Ouma. Ouma is popular all over the world and not only in South Africa. In 2017, South Africa exported almost 1,5 tonnes of it to Australia, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, New Zealand, Australia, Swaziland, the UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Simba Chips

The Greyvensteyn name is not only associated in South Africa with Ouma rusks, but quite coincidentally also with Simba Chips. Simba is a popular South African potato snack introduced in 1957 by the Greyvensteyn family. Leon Greyvensteyn travelled to Germany in 1955, where he met Herman Lay, one of the founders of the Frito-Lay company. The two men became very good friends.  The Greyvensteyn family then came upon the idea of introducing this new snack to South Africa.

Provita

The well-known Bakers company in South Africa is loved for Salticrax, Provita, Kips, Cream Crackers, Romany Creams and Tennis biscuits. South Africans are mad about these sweet and salty treats. Bakers was founded in 1851 when John Frederick Baumann moved from England to South Africa. However, it was only his cousin, John Michael Leonard Naumann (originally a German), joined the company in 1881 that they bought advanced biscuit-backing equipment. In 1915 the company made biscuits for the army, and two of J. M. L Baumann son’s fought in Namibia against the Germans. Because of the anti-German sentiment, the company changed its name from L. Baumann & Co.

South Africans are of course still crazy about their biltong and droëwors, a well-marinated steak and malva pudding. But it is especially when you cannot lay your hands on a product that you miss it the most. Let us know if you know of any other South African products that are extremely popular among South Africans abroad.

Photo: samantha-fernandes-unsplash

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