It makes sense that roasting meat on a stick has been around for a very long time. In fact, evidence has been found in archaeological sites that skewers were used in prehistoric times, as far back as around 300 000 years ago. As you can imagine, a nomadic lifestyle made it a natural choice to cut meat into chunks and marinate it for preservation and flavour, then skewer it onto sticks and cook it over an open fire. Rush forward to medieval times and it is believed that Turkish soldiers gave rise to the term ‘Shish Kebab’ (‘shish’ meaning ‘sword’ and ‘kebab’ meaning ‘to roast’) when they grilled meat skewered onto their swords. Whether it’s a kebab, skewer or simply food on a stick, you will find the use of sharpened tools to cook with in almost every culture imaginable. In the Orient there is satay, in France there are brochettes, in Portugal espetadas and in South Africa sosaties, given to us by the Cape Malays. Whatever you want to call it, cooking on sticks over a fire gives food a great charred flavour and helps to keep little bits of food from falling into the coals.
1 medium French loaf
1 punnet strawberries
½ cup milk
Dash of vanilla extract
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Icing sugar to serve
Cut the French loaf into 2cm slices. Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon together and dip the bread into the mixture. Thread the bread and strawberries onto the skewers, alternating between the two. Grill on the braai until golden and crisp. Dust with icing sugar and serve. Serves 6
For more food on sticks and other great ideas, read the Let’s Braai magazine!