The sweet aroma of barbecue (or braai, as it's called in Afrikaans) permeated the outdoor air as Silver Whisper, sailing on her 115-day World Cruise, hosted a special poolside lunch on Wednesday that gave guests a chance to sample authentic South African cuisine before the ship departed East London.

The culinary tradition of South Africa is rich and varied, and reflects not only its African roots, but its historical connection with Dutch, British, Malaysian, Indian and other cultures, resulting in uniquely flavourful delicacies.

As it so happens, Silver Whisper's very own executive chef, Anne-Mari Cornelius (pictured above), hails from South Africa and was delighted to personally introduce our guests to the fascinating cuisine of her homeland.

Presiding over the barbecue, Chef Anne-Mari skillfully cooked up such local delicacies as boerewors (pronounced bor-eh-vors ). This homemade sausage -- whether served with a traditional porridge called pap (pronounced pop), or a sweet and spicy chakalaka sauce, or placed in a bun in the style of a hot dog -- is a signature food cherished throughout the African nation.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a few bottles of Mrs H.S. Ball's Original Chutney on hand, also a popular accompaniment for boerewors, or any braai. Probably the most famous South African chutney, it's made in Johannesburg using a 19th-century recipe of dried fruits and spices. A favourite among South Africans living abroad and looking for a taste of home, it's exported to England, Germany, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.

And what South African barbecue would be complete without a few handcrafted ritual dolls to adorn the table? The ones pictured above are from the Ndebele tribe. Their presence created an atmosphere of authenticity and a connection with Africa's spiritual heritage that we hope resulted in a culinary experience that was not just culturally enriching for our World Cruise guests, but maybe a bit enchanting.

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