Streaming issues? Report here
Azania Mosaka 1500 x 1500 2020 Azania Mosaka 1500 x 1500 2020
The Azania Mosaka Show
13:00 - 15:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: The John Perlman Show
See full line-up
The Azania Mosaka Show
13:00 - 15:00
Home
arrow_forward
Local

The History of the kota, bunny chow and gatsby

9 November 2017 12:23 PM
Tags:
Kota
Soweto Kota Festival
Anna Trapido
bunny chow
gatsby
Vashna Jagarnath

Foodies Anna Trapido and Vashna Jagarnath help take listeners through the historical background of the kota.

What is a Kota ?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a sandwich as “an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them”.

In so doing it fails to fully recognise South Africa’s distinctive genre of street sandwiches in which a hollowed-out loaf serves as a portable, edible container for everything and anything from bean curries and masala steak to polony, slaptjips, Russian sausages and fried eggs.

Sometimes mashed potato is packed into these suitcase-style sandwiches too.

Whatever the filling, all such sarnies come in quarter, half and full loaf variations. Whether you call this cheap, filling and delicious street food a bunny chow, a kota, a sphatlo or an iskhambhani is an indicator of ethnicity and geographical location, but they are all proudly South African.

To help take listeners through the historical background of the kota is Anna Trapido who is a food anthropologist and historian, Vashna Jagarnath.

The fact that there is very little information about the kota speaks to the fact in which we read certain foods in society and that is deeply classed and raced.

Vashna Jagarnath, Historian

Also read: First-ever Soweto Kota Festival

The kota infiltrates various strata of society in interesting ways.

Vashna Jagarnath, Historian

The history of the kota is also very uncertain, as there are numerous tales of its origins relays Jagarnath. She explains that it is ideally, a quarter loaf of bread that is cut in half and curry is soaked in or comprises of various other stuffings such as potato chips, viennas, cheese among other things.

I like to look at who people are from the way that they eat. We are what we eat, so who are we? Everything you need to know turns up in these curious sandwiches that are so unlike what everybody anywhere else in the world thinks of what is a sandwich.

Anna Trapido, food anthropologist

All over the world, food consumed by the poor and those residing in rural areas get appropriated and added to restaurant menus, says Trapido.

Trapido says she has noticed how smart restaurants, largely in Cape Town who inexplicably win all the accolades and prizes for food in South Africa and are invariably run by white men - who behave as though they have invented things that have already existed, such as nose to tail eating.

Organic and free range is what peasant farmers all over the Transkei have always done.

Anna Trapido, food anthropologist

Listen to the clip below for more on the insightful Kota conversation


9 November 2017 12:23 PM
Tags:
Kota
Soweto Kota Festival
Anna Trapido
bunny chow
gatsby
Vashna Jagarnath

More from Local

EXPLAINER: Frequently asked questions about funerals

25 January 2021 11:58 AM

The graphic also tackles how deceased COVID-19 patients are handled differently.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Callers say premier knows 'it's mandatory for ALL of us to wear a mask'

25 January 2021 11:05 AM

Vusi says when police tell you to wear mask it's out of courtesy. Moshe says spokesperson Mkani-Mpolweni is defending her salary.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

It's like working in a morgue - Health workers on COVID-19 second wave

25 January 2021 7:47 AM

Eyewitness News reporter Mia Lindeque spoke to health workers working in the frontline trying to save coronavirus patients.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

300 more people succumb to COVID-19 and 8,147 infections recorded

25 January 2021 6:49 AM

The number of fatalities bring the death toll to 40,874 since the pandemic started at the beginning of last year.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Storm Eloise: Measures in place should SA communities need to evacuate

24 January 2021 1:07 PM

Tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall in Mozambique on Saturday, hitting the port city of Beira with strong winds and heavy rains.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Ramaphosa says he was sorrowful, heartbroken after news of Mthembu’s passing

24 January 2021 12:11 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church during his official funeral in his hometown of Emalahleni.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

WATCH LIVE Jackson Mthembu's funeral

24 January 2021 9:36 AM

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu passed away on Thursday after succumbing to COVID-19.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Are you thoroughly prepared for Stage 8 load shedding?

23 January 2021 3:25 PM

Decor & DIY expert and founder of Homedzine.co.za Janice Anderssen says you can't plug your electronic equipment into a generator.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Storm Eloise: Disaster management in Limpopo, Mpumalanga & KZN on high alert

23 January 2021 1:18 PM

The category 2 cyclone is expected to hit parts of South Africa bringing, with it heavy rain and possible flooding.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

'What we find underneath shells of resold written-off cars is just shocking'

22 January 2021 8:06 PM

Motor Body Repairers’ Association national director Richard Greens says insurers must make information publicly available.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward