Bunny Chow, Peppadews and Pinotage

Dick Enthoven has perfected Portuguese food and taken the UK by storm with 280 branches of his Nando’s peri-peri chicken phenomenon. So what is wrong with Durban? Bunny Chow, a hollowed out half loaf of bread filled with curry, was invented in Durban and could be the next global food phenomenon. But this time, let’s fill the low GI loaf with rabbit curry – far healthier than chicken and cheaper to produce, too. According to the owner of Coniglio rabbit farm in Durbanville, John Fraser (below).

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And Cape Town has the chef to perfect the dish – Jason Whitehead – below, who wields a mean toque at Freres Bistro on the Foreshore. He has the measure of Durban (his sommelier Daniel and head waiter Ray are both banana boys) and his robust spicing gives rabbit – a meat which is something of a blank canvas for flavour – some character.

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As the rabbit hailed from Durbanville, we decided to match it with Pinotage from the same appellation. Two Absa Top Ten numbers from Altydgedacht and Diemersdal were selected. The Altydgedacht was extravagantly juicy while the Diemersdal had more structure and both were well matched to the rabbit meatballs in a tomato sauce on pasta (below).

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Pinotage has the heft to handle moderate curry spice and the tropical fruit flavour spectrum can stretch all the way to banana, making it an ideal KZN quaffer. Peppadews are another proudly South African ingredient begging to be utilized.

Interviewed on how to market Pinotage by Edo Heyns, editor of Winelands magazine last week, I suggested that step one is to stop apologizing for the cultivar. Step two is to pair it with food and a low GI bunny chow with peppadews has the kind of sex appeal to power a Bunny Chow Bar in Brixton or Birmingham. How about it Dick?