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Boerewors ([ˈbuːrəvors]) is a type of sausage popular in South African cuisine. The name is derived from the Afrikaans words boer ("farmer") and wors ("sausage"). Boerewors must contain at least 90 percent meat - always containing beef, as well as lamb or pork or a mixture of lamb and pork. The other 10% is made up of spices and other ingredients. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. Boerewors may not contain any “mechanically recovered” meat, this is meat derived through a process where meat and bone are mechanically separated.
Boerewors is based on an older traditional Dutch sausage called the verse worst, though it differs somewhat in its ingredients. It is made from coarsely minced beef (sometimes combined with minced pork, lamb, or both) and spices (usually toasted coriander seed, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice). Like many other forms of sausage, boerewors contains a high proportion of fat, and is preserved with salt and vinegar, and packed in sausage casings. Traditional boerewors is usually formed into a continuous spiral. It is often served with pap (traditional South African porridge / polenta made from mielie-meal). Boerewors is also very common throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe as well as with expatriate communities in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Boerewors is usually braaied (grilled outdoors), but may be grilled in an electric griller. Alternatively it can also be baked in an oven.
The many varieties of boerewors include specialties such as garlic wors, kameeldoring (camel thorn), Karoowors (sausage from the Karoo region in South Africa), and spekwors (made with extra cubed pork fat). Other ingredients include cheese and chilli peppers.
A similar sausage may also be made from the meat of different animal species, such as kudu, and springbok, but it may not be sold as boerewors. Instead, it is named after the predominant meat species, but only if it contains at least 75% meat from that specific species. When a sausage is made from different types of game, it is called "game sausage".
Boerewors does not keep well unrefrigerated. A similar dried or cured sausage called droëwors is prepared instead in a process similar to the preparation of biltong. Droëwors has become popular in its own right as a snack.
The preparation and grilling of boerewors has become a fine art with many local, regional and national competitions taking place. Shoprite Checkers, one of South Africa's leading supermarket chains, hosts a competition yearly to determine the best new preparations. The winner of this competition has the privilege of having his product/recipe manufactured and sold in all their stores nationwide.
Guinness world record
On 16 June 2011, the Guinness world record for braaing the longest boerewors in the world was broken in South Africa. It measured 514.5 m in length and weighed about 420 kg. The boerewors was distributed freely to old-age homes as part of Youth Day which was celebrated on the day that it was prepared.
- "Regulations - Governing the Composition and Labelling of Raw Boerewors". Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Boerewors world record broken". News 24. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.