Pap may be tops, but mielie-bread’s even better

Lifestyle

Pap may be tops, but mielie-bread’s even better

FREE TO READ | I love them roasted and blackened, boiled or baked, but most of all I love them in mielie-bread

Andrea Burgener

Mielies fill me with cheer. It’s their time to shine right now, and for some months to come. While I know they aren’t strictly ours – they hail from South America after all – they did come our way as far back as the mid 1600s, which makes them so much a part of our nation’s cooking that it’s impossible to imagine our lives without them.

Yellow mielies (aka sweetcorn) are all well and good, but they can be sickly saccharine, and aren’t right for every application. The starchy large white variety, aka green mielies, are good for a whole different range of dishes. I love them roasted and blackened, boiled or baked, but most of all I love them in mielie-bread.

Mielie-bread isn’t made nearly enough for my liking. In fact I can’t find it anywhere. Decades back, I’d get my fix from The Africa Hut in Hillbrow, a corner dive which served an array of consistently perfect hot dishes, among which mielie-bread, flour-based pot-bread, and cabbage cooked to a melting softness, were the stars. And then one day, as is the way of Joburg, they were gone...

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