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Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This grocery store carries all the specialties of South Africa -- and it's run by a guy who's never been to Africa

**Update in Dec 2013: This shop has been renamed The South African Store and it's now located at 3889 Bathurst Street. 

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area and you have a craving for South African goodies, you'll likely find yourself at this convenience/grocery store, Memories of Africa. It's located at 1733 Eglinton Ave. E #5.


They have a collection of South African candy bars, roiboos tea and various curry sauces, the latter being a legacy of the Indian migrants in South Africa.




The chatty owner of this place, Alex, is happy to explain the various specialties and offers some samples of  biltong, a type of dried, spiced meat. But don't call it jerky. "Calling it jerky is an insult," warns Alex. The store also has boerwors ("farmer sausage" in Africaans), a type of spiced sausage based on old Dutch recipes.


The store gets a steady stream of South Africans coming to get nostalgic brands from their homeland--some South Africans live in Thornhill, while others live farther afield, in Pickering and other outlying communities.

Where is Alex from? Turns out he's from Turkey, and has never been to Africa. He got into this line of business after buying a store selling South African goods a few years back.

**Update in Dec 2013: This shop has been renamed The South African Store and it's now located at 3889 Bathurst Street. 
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1 comment:

  1. I like what this guy is doing for the Southern African community..it is very noble work indeed. If you are an artist DJ/Singer/Dancer etc he even provides the provision to sell tickets at his location on your behalf at a nominal fee of course. I wish he could get a liquor licence to sell Klipdrift and Coke, Castle Pilstener /Lion Lager but thats a crack heads dream with the monopoly of the LCBO..Love the Boerwors and Tong :)

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