Are you a fan of Johnny Cakes? Do you salivate when someone mentions Dutch Oliebol? Does it feel like an instant fiesta when you get your hands on a Sopalillas? Then Amagwinya Day is going to fill you with another burst of joy by introducing you to the Afrikaner Amagwinya, a fried dough bread that is absolutely incredible, and is popular throughout the entire South African Region. If you’ve never heard of any of these breads then you’re in for a fantastic treat as you discover just how amazing fried bread can be!
History of Amagwinya Day
It seems that almost every culture that has encountered flour has discovered that if you create a light yeast-based dough and drop it in boiling oil that something magical will happen. Like most fried dough breads Amagwinya has a distinct similarity to the doughnut in texture and composition, though its most popular preparations are a far cry away from the sweet and creamy fillings that most people associate with doughnuts. The word Amagwinya is Zulu in origin, and can be translated as simply ‘fat cake’.
Amagwinya is thought to find its roots in the Dutch Oliebol that found its way down thanks to trade and travelers, and has become a common favorite of the populace. Its two most common preparations involve frying the dough, opening it up, and stuffing it with a savory curry based meat filling, or this same combination only the meat is sealed in the bread before it’s fried. Either way this common treat is warming, filling, and a favorite convenience food that can be found anywhere people gather, from the mass transit in Joburg to open-air street markets. If you’re a lover of all things savory and fried, then Amagwinya Day is going to be your opportunity to dive into a whole new set of cuisine that follows a familiar theme.
How To Celebrate Amagwinya Day
Unless you happen to have an African food restaurant or market nearby, the best way to celebrate this holiday is by digging your hands into the kitchen and making some of your own. Common recipes can be found online to provide you with a foundation to start from and a flavor profile to play with. Following that you can expand your menu to include other common South African dishes like Snoek, a relative of the Barracuda that is a staple that draws people from all over the world and the slap chips (African French Fries) that commonly get served alongside it.