i’m making mash (lentils, tomatoes, celery) on a sunday morning. also, i’m about to write back to leeanne in durban. this is the passage that brings together the beauty-full day:
“With the onset of apartheid, blacks and whites were prevented from eating together. Black caddies at Durban’s Greyville Golf Course were, for instance unable to use the same cutlery and washing facilities as the white golfers. Yet they needed to eat quickly and speedily, in order to spend as little time away from their jobs at the golf course as possible. This called for some invention. The solution meshed together two culinary traditions, both of which themselves had been transplanted to Durban. The new apartheid-compatible food involved the ladling of curry (a food that came with indentured Indians, who’d been brought to South Africa’s Natal province by the British to work on the sugar plantations) into a hollowed-out loaf of white bread (a food enjoyed by the British themselves). White bread, never brown. The enterprising Gujarati Hindus who first put the two ingredients together were of the Bunia caste. Thus was created Durban’s signature food: ‘bunny chow’. At its best, the curry is rich and warm. The pithed out bread can be dipped into the bunny itself, the corner of the loaf lending itself to scooping the larger pieces of potato or chicken in the stew. You eat it entirely with your hands, which soon develop a yellow stain from the turmeric in the curry. And it’s thoroughly delicious.
The key features of bunny chow were that it was hot, ready to eat, filling, appetizing and portable (though not too far, before the curry soaked into the bread, making a mess of both). It meant that caddies could, on the run, eat food that they enjoyed, that nourished them and that embodied and celebrated an identity, a meaning that fought against racial injustice. In mixing black and white foods along the boundaries established by the apartheid state, the bunny was both and obeisance to existing law and a gastronomic fuck you.” (268)