One of the reasons I love traveling so much is the opportunity to experience other cultures through their food. There is nothing quite like being unfamiliar with a menu's contents or even taking a morning to stroll through a farmer's market in a foreign place to see what undiscovered foods may delight (or sometimes, repel) your palate.
I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Zimbabwe and South Africa, primarily to go on safari and see some magnificent animals in their natural habitats. While we certainly did that (for sometimes up to 11 hours per day!) we also ate. Then ate. then ate again. It seemed like the standard three meals a day were simply not sufficient for the safari camps to provide and s-o we were rewarded for sitting on our bums all day in a car looking for animals by getting an additional 3 meals to bring our total days' eating-occasion count to a ridiculous 6!
How did they accomplish this? Deliciously so. Aside from breakfast, we had mid-morning tea and cookies, lunch (sometimes called brunch), followed by high tea, then a round of sun-downers (i.e. happy hour) during our evening game drive; inevitably and ever-consistently comprised of gin & tonics and the best homemade potato chips in the world [SA & Zimbabwe have an uncanny ability to make these...] and then a round of sherry to re-rev up the system prior to a feast for dinner and dessert.
Sleep. Wake up. Repeat. Really tough work, but somehow, we rose to the challenge each time.
The one snack stop that really got my attention though was tea time in the morning during which we were offered a local take on our favorite twice-baked cookies: rusks! These are less sweet than traditional biscotti but with the satisfying crunch and hearty texture you want to pair with a warm cuppa.
Once we were out of the bush and in Capetown, I saw rusks everywhere! Muesli rusks (YUM.), wholegrain, buttermilk rusks- you name it, they had it. It's a traditional Afrikaner breakfast or snack and its origins date back to roughly the same era that mandelbrot & biscotti were invented (17th/18th centuries). Rusks are slightly more rectangular than Marlo's Bakeshop's soft-baked biscotti but no less delicious.