My name is Kim and I am an American living in Cape Town, South Africa.
I arrived in South Africa on a study abroad program in 2008 and fell in love with the country as well as a man named Tyrone (pronounced Tyran). Four years later, here I am in South Africa, smitten in my tiny apartment with a barely-there yet perfect kitchen, a small garden, and my Ty. When I am not cooking or eating, I am studying towards my Master’s in Public Health at University of Cape Town and am honing in on my skills as a Research Assistant at a local research centre.
Growing up I lived off of all things unhealthy and easy to cook – Kraft mac n’ cheese, Ramen noodles (AKA two-minute noodles for you South Africans), Chinese food, and frozen pizza bagels – and was a chunker because of it! My dad and stepmom slowly taught me the pleasures of cooking – the chopping, chatting, spicing, and smells– and most importantly, the beautiful tradition of family dinner. My mom is my going-out-to-eat partner and I presume is the one who gave me the always-wanting-to-go-out-to-eat genes. My sister, who is 5 years older than me, let me spend time cooking with her under the condition that I peel her garlic. And Ty taught me how to cook the meanest mince and spaghetti dinner with his secret ingredient Portuguese Chicken Spice …I have some amazing food memories that have resonated in my mind, which I will share with you as time goes on.
As soon as I wake up I begin thinking about food. After breakfast, I am thinking about what I am going to make for lunch, and after lunch, I am thinking about what I am going to make for dinner, and after dinner, I am thinking about what I am going to make the following day. I don’t food plan for the week and tend not to write shopping lists but rather am all about buying a plethora of random ingredients and figuring out what fun dishes I can make. Cooking in my little kitchen soothes my soul and enables me to express myself. To me, food is not just a basic life necessity but also one of the greatest pleasures in life. I love to cook because I love to eat but nothing brings me greater joy than cooking for my friends and family and listening to their “food-gasms” as they dig in to one of my creations.
It is important that your taste buds are able to express themselves and an amazing meal enables them to do so. The perfect blend of aromatic flavors will elicit a tongue tantalizing, tastebud teasing, moreish “food-gasm” and I rate the success of my meals by measuring their magnitude.
Despite my limited pallet growing up, I have become extremely adventurous in my eating and am eager to try any and all types of foods, especially local cuisines, which is how the name of my blog came to be. A work colleague of mine took me to a township café and I bravely ordered tripe because I had never tried it before. My friend dug in, slurping up the smelly, squidgy, multicolored grey, towel-material casings swimming in pale soup, and then, with a huge smile on his face, scooped up a spoonful for me to try. I took a deep breath and as that spoonful fell into my mouth, I immediately had to pray to the food gods and center my chi in order to swallow. And ever since, I vow to eat all things except for tripe.