By: Natasha Kleyn
Light up your Braai Day the right way
The countdown to National Braai Day has begun. While a braai can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, 24 September has become THE official day to unite around fires. Heritage Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the cultural diversity and vast heritage of our beautiful country and its people. It’s a day to share a spirit of togetherness and unity and to create lasting memories. And what better way to do this than with a braai?
Light up your Braai Day
Braaing is the South African way of gathering together with good friends and good food to celebrate the good life. The key to hosting the perfect braai is working together – with togetherness being one of the many aspects that make our country so unique. So, whether you call it Heritage Day, National Braai Day, or Shaka Day, the one thing everyone across the country can agree on is that it’s a day to celebrate our cultures and diversity.
As the brand who best knows how to get the fire started, and keep it going, here are BIC’s top Braai Day tips:
Choose the right spot – Location is important when hosting the perfect braai. If you don’t have enough space at home, South Africa is teeming with beautiful parks, resorts, and braai spots to choose from. An open space is perfect as it will allow your guests to be free and really embrace the spirit of a good braai.
Turn up the heat – If you want to go the traditional route, the type of wood used can make all the difference in the world. Rooikrans burns quickly but gives great coals, while Wingerd is good for starting fires, flavours, and aroma. If you’re new to this, using charcoal will make things easier. Either way, make sure that you have quality firelighters and a lighter that won’t let you down.
It’s all about the meat – In South Africa, a braai is all about the meat, whether it’s boerewors, lamb chops, ribs, steak, chicken or fish. Remember, the order in which you cook your meat is important. Red meat goes quicker and can be cooked on a higher heat, while chicken takes the longest and needs the lowest heat. Also, marinate your meat beforehand for extra flavor, and don’t skimp on the spices.
Vegans are welcome – National Braai Day is for everyone, not just the meat lovers. There are a wide variety of meat alternatives for vegans to enjoy, while braai staples like grilled mielies and fresh salads will also go down well. Remember to cater accordingly and be mindful of other’s preferences.
Let’s talk about sides – From braaibroodjies to roosterkoek, mielie pap to potato bake, coleslaw to any salad under the sun – one of the best parts of any braai is the sides. If you’re willing to ask guests to bring a side along, this will make for a great feast to satisfy all taste buds. And it will take some pressure off of you too!
A bevvy of beverages – No braai is complete without refreshing drinks to sip on and to wash everything down. There’s no harm in asking your guests to bring their own, but if you are catering, be sure to have a variety of beverages to cater to different preferences. As the host, you should encourage responsible drinking. And make sure you have enough ice!
Don’t forget the snacks – Keep your guests smiling with some traditional braai snacks. Biltong and droëwors are always a hit, while chips and dip are another South African favourite. Consider including some fruit or vegetable crudités for healthy options that add a layer of freshness and gives you that summer feeling.
Savour the memories – Time with friends and family should be treasured. “Too often we let these times pass us by,” says Karen Moodley, Brand Manager BIC Lighters – South & Central Africa. “This year, we call on all South Africans to not only celebrate the spirit of togetherness by uniting around fires, but to capture their memories, and share them with using the #BraaiWithBIC tag”
BIC will also be launching fun and colorful filters and frames on SnapChat to mark National Braai Day.