Today is National Voting Day, which means tomorrow is National Hangover Day. In the interests of public service and good health, I have done some research and came up with the following top 10 favourite South African hangover cures. Feel free to add your own!
- Groen Ambulans/Green Ambulance: aka cream soda. Beloved by students, construction workers and socialites alike, it works well accompanied by 2 aspirin (*see note.) Aficionadoes swear that cream soda settles nausea, calms a woozy head and also gives an energy boost. The slightly salty/sweet and creamy/tart fizzyness might have something to do with it. You DON’T want to top this one with ice cream, though, because that’s known as a cream soda float which is whole different thing altogether, and is strictly reserved for children’s parties.
*You want aspirin on a hangover, not Panados – aspirin is metabolised by the kidneys and Panado is metabolised by the liver, and your liver is pretty taxed already by this point.
2. Amasi: soured milk, more popular among the township party animals than with city clubbers, but democratically works a treat for anyone with ibabalazi. The fermented, soured milk drink, rich in probiotics, is not only rapidly digested, it also rehydrates, settles digestion, provides nourishment and energy and contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. Champion drink #1, African-Style.
- Very sweet rooibos tea with scrambled eggs: rooibos tea rehydrates and is packed with antioxidants sugar provides energy and the warmth settles digestion and provides comfort. Eggs contain lysine – which assist the liver – and protein, which helps repair the body. Go on, have a fry-up.
- Chakalaka with potato latkes: Chakalaka is a spicy relish usually served at braais or salad with cold meats, etc, but its uses are legion. Spooned straight from the can on top of crispy fried potato latkes or hash browns, it is the perfect camping breakfast if you’re hungover. Since chakalaka contains cabbage – one of the most legendary cures for any stomach ailment – as well as peppers, carrots and chillies, which are all rich in vitamins, with baked beans in some versions too, surely it needs no further explanation as a complete MIRACLE FOOD.
Fried Potato Cakes aka Hash Browns aka Potato Latkes
Potato latkes are crispy fried little potato pancakes, also called rösti. Potato Latkes Recipe here. For sake of convenience, just replace all the vegetables in above recipe with plain potato and proceed. Rösti and latkes = same thing.)
- If the situation is truly desperate and you are barely able to stumble to the nearest garage shop for sustenance, try white sliced loaf, well-buttered, layered with crushed Simba salt and vinegar crisps, and wash it down with a banana Steri Stumpie. Hopefully you’re not doing all this at the shop counter still in your dressing gown, wearing only one sock.
- A bloody Mary. One should always have emergency Worcester sauce, Tabasco, tomato cocktail and medicinal portions of vodka in the house, especially in times of great uncertainty and social upheaval such as election times. Do the British thing and add a wee dash of horseradish and a tot of sherry to your BM. Then go and lie down until you feel ready to take the dog for a walk.
- Greasy slaptjips doused liberally in salt and vinegar. Slaptjips are South African fries, fat-cut, floppy (‘slap’) in consistency and usually fried in oil that’s slightly too cold, so it absorbs an unusual amount of oil. Fantastic when eaten along the seaside – the salty breeze will do additional wonders to clear your head and you can feed the leftovers to the seagulls. The best slaptjips in Cape Town are found at any branch of Snoekies.
- Masala steak gatsby – a gatsby is one of the crowning glories of our national cuisine. For the sake of sensitive readers I shall refrain from posting some of the more lurid pictorial images of it, but it is well worth trying out. The best ones are normally sold near public transport hubs in urban areas. THIS IS NOT A COCKTAIL SNACK. (Make your own from the recipe for steak masala gatsby here)
9. Curried tripe and trotters – you’d be lucky to find this unless you live in a township, or you’ve been cooking some yourself recently. Cooking tripe appears to be an occasion that often leads to excessive drinking, which is how it was discovered that a steaming hot bowl of tripe laced with chilli sherry the morning after has restorative powers.
- A cleansing ale. Prost! Try a Mexican-style michelada, which is beer mixed with salt, lime, tomato juice and chilli sauce and let the force be with you.