The History Of South African Braai Culture

Although it’s impossible to trace the origins of the word braai, some interesting information was found on the art of braaing and how the tradition of cooking meat over a fire began.

The debate on exactly when humans started to control fire is unknown, however, we do know that it was some time before modern man. The coal that had been dug up indicates that they were not not all natural fires, which goes to show that humans(homo erectus) have been controlling fire before our time.

How this came about, was because these specific coals burned over temperatures that could not be reached by a natural fire. Meaning these coal-burning fires were being repeatedly fed with firewood or some other fuel.

Either way, it was some time shortly after humans took control of fire that they began to cook over it. As to how they realised cooking over a fire was better than eating raw meat, remains unknown. However, we assume that the meat accidentally fell onto the fire, was taken off and then eaten.

After that happened, it’s obvious why they would continue doing it…

Firstly, it’s easier to chew and digest, it tastes a whole lot better, and it offers higher nutritional value.

Via Braai Culture


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