One of the things I love about travelling in Europe is grocery shopping. Strange as that might sound, I really appreciate how there’s a butcher for your meat, a baker for your bread, a greengrocer for your fruit and veg, and a fish shop for your fish. Here in South Africa, we’re very quick to hop over to the supermarket to get all our groceries in one go, which is far less exciting (and I’m sure results in lower quality groceries!) That’s why I was so excited to discover the Continental Butchery in Kloof St (120 Kloof St, to be exact).
This is a butcher as butchers are meant to be. Affectionately known as the German butcher, this neighbourhood butchery has been around since 1984. As well as the German specialities like artisan hams, sausages, pickled meats and leberwurst, you’ll find an excellent range of game, specifically Namibian game, gemsbok, duck and quail, and all the usual beef, lamb, pork and chicken too. If you want to cook a top quality steak at home, this is the place to buy your meat.
The other speciality at the German butcher is the biltong. Oh, the biltong! This is the kind of stuff our forefathers used to make. Large hunks of beautifully cured meat that can be sliced off with a knife or (if you want to cut the authenticity slightly) pre-sliced when you buy it. The perfect snack to fortify you for an afternoon’s shopping in Kloof Street.
What I love so much about the Continental Butchery is not only the excellent selection of meat, not only the superb, knowledgeable service of someone who clearly knows what he’s doing, but the fact that you can buy exactly what you want for a specific recipe – the right cut, the right age, the right amount, not just something vacuum packed and picked off the shelf. In this one situation, we can shop for groceries like our European counterparts.