District Six Huis Kombuis - South African Cookbook

District Six Huis Kombuis: Food & Memory Cookbook by Tina Smith is a 2016 World Gourmand Award Winner in the culinary travel division. NPR covered this fascinating title that shares the stories and memories of a mixed-race section of South Africa where Europeans, Asians, Africans, Christians, Muslims and Jews called home before it was declared a whites-only area. As the NPR article states, by the early 1980's nearly 60,000 people were forcibly removed from District Six. This wasn't the only area affected by the apartheid movement but it is the most documented perhaps due to its central location.

The District Six Museum in Cape Town has worked diligently on bringing the former residents of this area back together and the result of those meetings come to life in District Six Huis Kombuis: Food and Memory Cookbook. The publication of this book is part of the museum's committment to preserve the culture of this lost community and to commemorate the integration of food and cultural heritage through personal stories, recipes, historical images and craft work.

Huis kombuis  means "home kitchen" in Afrikaans and this book shares more than recipes and traditions of the original residents of District Six - it breathes life back into this forgotten section and people of South Africa - a very tight community where the best part was the sharing of food.

From the publisher's website, QuiverTree Publications:

The book is a culmination of memories and narrative. It weaves through the days of a typical week in District Six, focusing on traditional family recipes that were prepared with love and often limited resources. This is a visual celebration of the vibrancy and warmth of the community - who foraged, preserved, baked and cooked together.

I have a passion for books of this nature that bring the treasured past and a community of people back to the forefront where it should be. I hope to bring you more information on this title soon. 

Update: I've now had a quick look at the pdf version of this incredible book and it is truly stunning. I will be adding more information to this post in the next week. It is worth every penny to have it shipped overseas. 

7 Comments

  • Kristjudy  on  6/20/2017 at 10:40 AM

    What a well written article! Very informative, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  • Rosesrpink50  on  6/20/2017 at 10:47 AM

    I love cookbooks that have well-written stories included. I also love history, so I will find this particularly interesting. We have to continue to share the events of the past. Kudos to Tina Smith.

  • KimberlyCG  on  6/20/2017 at 10:49 AM

    My culinary history heart loves this! I realized one of the reasons why I love cookbooks of a certain type is the story these cookbooks tell of the people. Thank you for this!

  • marcsch  on  6/20/2017 at 10:50 AM

    This looks great. Will definitely check it out. You always find the best picks for us cookbook hoarders!

  • rchesser  on  6/20/2017 at 10:57 AM

    What an excellent review. We need more books like this, what is better than a diverse community sharing recipes and stories about their culture and food?

  • Sharmiro  on  6/20/2017 at 11:50 AM

    Wow! What an interesting concept for a cookbook...and I love the fact that it has stories along with it! Thanks.

  • lgroom  on  6/20/2017 at 12:19 PM

    This is the kind of thing I LOVE. I am so fascinated by culinary history. I know nothing about this history and will be sure to track this book down. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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