South African Ice Cream Shop Draws Inspiration From African Cultures for New Flavors
Tapi Tapi, an ice cream shop in Cape Town, South Africa, is offering up flavors that are inspired by its owner's culture and the cultures around him.
For instance, Tapiwa Guzha is now offering a scoop of ice cream that includes flavors like pumpkin and peanut butter, and the scoop is inspired by a dish called Nhopi from Zimbabwe.
"For the first eight years, I never made a single African flavor. Then one day I was in Salt River at a restaurant called Pahari, and they do Zimbabwean food. I saw some things from home, like popped maize, like maputi, some peanuts, and I was like, oh, what if I put that into ice cream? And it was the first time that I made ice cream that spoke to my identity and my history, and I was like, I should make more of this,” Guzha said.
Lack of cultural representation in ice cream flavors was something other Africans say they noticed too.
“Growing up we knew that ice cream can be vanilla, something that is just, not from here. Now, if you eat something like samp, something that, you know, you grew up eating, at the same time, you know, it's, it just makes you connect - it connects you with your childhood,” he said.
Guzha’s inventive flavors like pumpkin and peanut butter or rooibos tea with sweet potato jam have customers coming back to try something new every time.
“To eat an ice cream with African flavors is just so heart-warming. I mean, to be on the continent, to be experiencing flavors that are from here,” one customer said.
With the culinary scene constantly evolving, Guzha says there is no reason that Africa should be left out.
"At some point it became an aspirational thing to say I don't eat African food, I eat Italian food, and I eat blah blah blah, you know, and at some point I realised, actually, we need to correct this narrative that things from Africa are second rate or that they're not as important, or that they're not as valuable, or they're not as delicious or accessible, so I started addressing to and address that problem I was seeing in the world where we as Africans don't value ourselves and consequently, we don't get to enjoy our own foods as much as we should be,” Guzha said.
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