Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Potjie and Biltong Festival

On Saturday we went to the annual Potjie and Biltong Festival.


After turning off the main road, we went down a long, dusty road.

Past a typical Botswana scene: people hanging out in the shade of a tree.

When we pulled up to the parking lot, I was surprised to see it was overflowing.

I was excited, because there is a real dearth of things to do around here, and organized events like this with a big turnout are uncommon.

We walked down a little garden path.

Past an orange grove.

And finally arrived at the festival! I was really impressed to see the tents and so many people.

The shirts in the picture above and below -- tan and green color-blocked short sleeve button ups -- are a typical South African farm-type shirt worn, as here, by both young and old. We saw a lot of them at the festival.


As Neil saw me taking pics, presumably for this blog, he made the comment, "If you only saw this [festival], you'd think Botswana was only white people." Which is certainly NOT the case. We decided that every white resident of Botswana who is of South African descent must have been at the festival.

So, the potjie and biltong fest!

potjie (pronounced POY-key) is a small cast iron pot in which a beef or chicken stew with potatoes, carrots, and seasonings are cooked. The stew is then served over rice.

Here is the potjie pot the rice was served from.
(And a very South African-looking man: big, tall, with short shorts.)

And the potjie! Delicious!

And the biltong! Biltong is basically jerky, made from all different kinds of meat. Or game.


There were all kinds of crafts, baked goods, food booths, music, children's dance performances, and face painting.

Even a kid's rugby game.


A proper festival!

Most things were written in both English and Afrikaans (a language spoken mostly in South Africa by the Afrikaners, whites of Dutch descent). You don't typically see things written in Afrikaans in Botswana.

Malva pudding, a South African favorite. 

There was even some sort of kids' modeling show ... not quite of the Toddlers and Tiaras caliber. The kids were mostly in T-shirts and shorts, it was very "come as you are." One little girl didn't even have shoes on. I guess they were judged purely on technique, not style.

Nile and I spent a lot of time at the jumping castles.

Yes, with her trademark tutu. Deja vu, these are the same jeans I'm wearing in these pictures, where I was about as far along with Nile (6 1/2 mos.) as I am here with her baby sister. (Here's when they were new -- no, they're not maternity pants -- thank heavens for low-rise!)

Till next year!



Stephanie said...

Cool ook into a local event! Also- I remember those pants and love them. PS- You are adorable.

Sara said...

That festival looks fun, and delicious! Congrats on your pregnancy! Are you going to stay in Africa or go to the States for the delivery?

M. said...

LOL. From the sign, i at first thought this was a pot and bong festival and i was like, WHY is she going to that?!

modestmuse said...

Thanks, Stephanie! And Sara, too! I am medevacing to the States next month. Melinda, you're hilarious! Who knows, perhaps that's another South African tradition??

Ny Biltong said...

buy biltong is organic and has neither preservatives nor MSG. It is made from meats of beef, chicken, and ostrich. This is all natural because it has been cured and has been dried up slowly to maintain the natural enzymes, therefore, it can be easily digested. It is rich in protein and contains other nutrients like zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin B, thiamine and iron. You can serve biltong as an appetizer, salad, soup or stew. It will blend with any ingredients and will perk up the taste of your meal.