Let’s Braai!

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The first image coming to mind thinking about an evening dinner in a remote and almost desolate ‘off the beaten track’ destination, during an organised 4×4 adventure, would typically be one of a group of people sitting around a camp fire under an endless clear, unpolluted sky with myriad stars ,constellations and the milky way. The fire in itself creates a tranquil atmosphere and usually a very happy and content group of people will sit chatting and sharing the day’s experiences.
But to the organiser in charge, the challenges and the degree of difficulty of the off-road tracks, the planning and preparation of the dinner (‘the braai’) could be just as much a challenge. Especially if it is a fairly large group and the responsibility for the supply and preparation of the food is with the organiser!
Special dietary requirements could exist due to various reasons and this could include people who have intolerance for certain food products or ingredients. (e.g. gluten, wheat iodine, lacto intolerances etc) some off which could not only cause bad experiences but could also be fatal in some instances.
It is obviously not appropriate for choices of food and drink to be imposed on people regardless of their preferences, religious, cultural or social background.

For instance, faith based dietary practice is taken very seriously by many people today. It is an important and positive aspect of their personal commitment to living out their faith. Sensitivity and care should therefore be exercised when catering for those who follow particular dietary practice for reasons of their belief, whether religious or non-religious. When catering for people of different faiths, a diversity of considerations should be kept in mind such as fast days, the use of biologically fermented (chametz) foodstuffs and some might maintain a vegetarian diet during certain times even though they might eat some meat at other times whilst some who normally eat meat will not do so during certain periods. Vegetarian is a general term used to describe people who exclude meat, poultry, fish, or other animal-derived foods from their diets.

The diet is plant-based and contains mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Most people tend to choose it for either health, political (animal-rights), and/or for spiritual reasons. This could include Lacto-vegetarians or Lacto-ovo-vegetarians, those who include milk or milk products, (and eggs) but exclude meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs from their diets. Semi-vegetarians include some, but not all groups of animal-derived foods in their diets; they usually exclude red meat, but may occasionally include poultry (pollo-vegetarian), fish, and seafood (pesco-vegetarian). Vegans, choose not to eat animal products of any kind, including animal flesh, dairy products, eggs, and sometimes-even honey. Raw food vegetarians and Fruitarians consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, and sprouted beans or legumes in their raw or dehydrated state or only a diet of fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Having a group of only ‘carnivores’ on tour with you does not really solve the complexity of your menu selection as even with them preferences exist as some might frown on your price winning ‘afval potjie’ or having ‘skilpadjies’ (containing liver) for starters!

We could continue and get lost in detail, but the good news is that in our part of the world the normal distribution of participants on these out-door adventures would generally be happy what is on offer on the braai. Being aware of the diversity and doing small changes to the menu by doing a ‘mixed braai’ is most probably the way to go. Having perhaps as an addition to meat, fish and poultry, a potato or butternut done on the firw, will definitely be appreciated and contribute to making the outdoor adventure a memorable experience to the participants. This is real issue that to some extend might make or break a trip and tour operators, the organiser and leader of club events or even the group leader amongst a group of friends on an ‘expedition’ should be keeping this in mind when compiling the menu and acquiring the supplies for a trip.
Having a diversity of requirements one could end up preparing 3 or 4 dishes side by side not only requiring extra ingredients to be carried (extra loading space, fridge and freezer space, etc) but also extra equipment to prepare these meals as ideally you would prepare meals side by side, therefore duplicating on equipment, in order for all to sit down for the perfect dinner at the same time. Over the years we have had various combinations and permutations of dietary preferences and managed to accommodate most off these. It just takes careful planning and everybody will be happy. Why not join us on one of our Leisure Wheels Safaris and come see for yourself.

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