Traditional dishes are known to be seasoned with history. It's the same for the traditional African classic which is known to the Xhosa and Zulu nations as umqombothi (traditional beer).
Traditional beer has always been prepared for purposes where there are celebrations, funerals or when a family needs to get in touch with their ancestors.
Made from maize, maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water and taking a couple of days to be ready, due to the fermentation process.
Traditionally, it is brewed in a special hut that is not completely thatched so smoke can escape and the beer gets enough oxygen to ferment.
As with all things traditional, there's always someone ready to bring a modern twist to give it new life. Nowadays we have been seeing chefs introducing traditional African recipes using African ingredients but cooked and presented differently.
Presenting what is soon to blow up and which also appeals to the young generation is Chef Thamsanqa Dlamini’s flavoured Zulu Beers. With these you don’t need any special ceremony for you to enjoy it; you can enjoy it at any time and day.
Dlamini is known as the founder of Shisanyama Shandis restaurant in Durban that offers township experience into the city.
He has recently introduced Cocoa Zulu Beer, Vanilla Zulu Beer, White Chocolate Zulu Beer and Choc-Mint Zulu Beer, which happens to be the most popular amongst people.
He said the reason for that is because everything with mint doesn’t leave with the best smell but it will always be a panel cleaner in the mouth.
Asked if this is his response to sorghum being a major trend this year, he said yes it is.
“The way I approach food and beverages is more of a revolution. It's all about the evolution of authentic food, beverages and standards. We fuse things so we can accommodate the current market. In order for everyone to be accommodated taste wise, we decided let’s infuse traditional beer with other ingredients and flavours so it can be a trend, something that will appeal to both the old and young people and have fresh natural flavours”, said Dlamini.
“These are very healthy and rich in flavour. They have no preservatives and additives. This kind of beer is pure and natural compared to other beers due to it’s process of fermentation, and it’s also a two in one, where you get full while you’re drinking”, he added.
He said the response to his fused traditional beer is great and there is a high demand from people which sees him preparing it every week for people who request it.
“We can see it’s something that’s going to pop-up very fast so we also need to work fast on getting our license. The market is there, all what is left is to push it to the right channel”, said Dlamini.