"Boerewors" , What Does It Mean?
The word "boerewors" means
"farmer's sausage" in Afrikaans,
and is thus a distinctly traditional
South African food.
What Are The Origins Of Boerewors?
Boerewors is another inheritance from
our pioneering forefathers who combined
minced meat and cubed spek (pork fat)
with spices and preservatives (vinegar).
All of which were freely available
from the then "Cape Colony".
The origin of spicy 'farmer's sausage'
is attributed to early German settlers
who knew all there was to know
As mincing machines only
came onto the scene in the
nineteenth century, meat was
previously finely chopped by hand.
Making boerewors is an individualised and
satisfying (though time-consuming) task,
and one you won't want to do
on the day of the braai.
For the best flavour and tenderness,
wors should mature for a few days
in the fridge before being cooked.
It may also be frozen
for up to three months.
Besides being braaied,
boerewors may be dried,
but for dried wors a thinner
casing must be used.
During their trek through the hinterland,
large quantities of wors would be made
at the outspan (stopover) and that which
could not be eaten would be hung to dry
and taken along for sustenance as
they continued their explorations.
In the decades that followed this type of wors
gradually evolved and the term "Boerewors"
became entrenched in South African culture.
Up until the early 1960's
boerewors in South Africa
was known only as boerewors
and by no other name.
Thousands of butchers competed with
each other to produce, in their opinion,
the best "boeries" you could find anywhere.
Competition was fierce, the consumer was happy!
The unique taste of boerewors was enhanced
by making adjustments to the quantities
of the traditional ingredients used.
Some masterful "boeries" was, and still is,
produced with the creators, jealously
guarding the mix of their magic potions.
From the 60's onward however, the character of
the traditional boerewors taste was experimented
with by entrepreneurs who added a host of
additional flavours to the boerewors taste.
Copious quantities of barbecue spice, onion,
tomato, garlic, cheese, chillies, peppers,
chicken, you name it, were added in order
to diversify the taste of the good old "boeries".
On the market was now garlic wors,
chilli wors, cheese wors, chicken wors etc.
Many consumers, naturally,
enjoyed these variations.
Others, obviously, called it sacrilege.
These additions to the
taste of boerewors had,
however, come to stay and are
still freely available today.
The 60's, unfortunately, also experienced
the advent of inferior quality boerewors
that was sold at bargain prices to the
poor but contained inferior ingredients.
Although the traditional and "new type" spices
were still used, inferior meat such as affal,
bone meal and soya became the main ingredients.
To contain this mixture the thickest possible
sausage casings were used in order to avoid
the wors from rupturing during cooking.
Public outcry soon curtailed the production of
this boerewors abomination as the perception
that "cheap wors is bad wors" soon resulted in
this product not moving from the retail shelves.
Unfortunately, to this very day,
a boerewors producer will tempt
the bargain hunter with inferior wors.
The secret in the making of good boerewors,
lies in the quality of the ingredients used.
The better the quality of the meat,
the better tasting the boerewors.