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Peasant food climbing in popularity

Comforting, made from cheaper ingredients and heavily seasoned – this is the crux of the trend that’s taking over on the food scene these days: Peasant fare. It’s no surprise really, with soaring food prices, that we need to start finding a way to exert our creativity and stretch our budgets. Chefs are embracing the nose-to-tail-style of cooking, using meat trimmings to create delicious sausage, meat balls and other things.
So, how can you start thinking this way?

By Jana du Plessis

If you’ve ever seen the Pixar movie Ratatouille, you’ll know that a serving of a simple, well-cooked dish can make even the fussiest of eaters all warm and gleeful inside. In the film, a garbage boy, who doesn’t know the first thing about cooking, lands in the kitchen of a highly esteemed French restaurant just as they are expecting a famous critic. With the help of friendly rat, the boy is able to produce a delicious version of ratatouille – a French classic considered to be peasant food. The critic thoroughly enjoys it, awards the restaurant a star and everyone leaves with a happy belly.

Peasant fare is described as food that peasants, servants or those with a lower income prepare in order to make do with their scarce resources. But within these ‘scraped together’ meals, lies many a gem open for much interpretation. These dishes include the likes of minestrone soup, spiced beans and rice, artisanal bread and even tacos!

Many a dish from all over the world has gained popularity even after it has been dubbed a peasant dish – ratatouille being just one of the scrumptious examples. More and more people show that they aren’t afraid to include peasant fare into their weekly meal round-up and experiment with simple ingredients to produce delicious food. And let’s be honest, food prices aren’t going to plummet anytime soon, so we might as well save on some food splurges and dive into this comforting way of eating tasty, fuss-free, generous meals.

Here is a list of our top peasant fare dishes:

1. Tuna and biscuit bake
2. Butternut maizemeal pie
3. Tomato and baked-bean bredie
4. Ratatouille bake
5. R50 kidney-bean mince

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