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Koeksister is a sweet South African snack with a sticky appearance. It is prepared by frying braided dough strips in oil, then dunking them into a cold sugary syrup. These sticky treats are sold on every major street in South Africa, and today they can even be found in most supermarkets.
The origins of koeksisters can be traced back to Dutch and Malay influences. The Dutch settlers brought their deep-fried pastries known as “koekjes” to South Africa, while the Malay community contributed their expertise in crafting sweet and aromatic pastries. Over time, these culinary traditions merged, giving birth to the uniquely South African koeksister.
Koeksisters are made from a yeasted dough that is carefully twisted into a braided shape and then deep-fried until golden brown. The freshly fried pastries are immediately soaked in a syrup, which infuses them with a sweet and sticky glaze. The syrup typically contains ingredients such as sugar, water, lemon juice, and sometimes a hint of cinnamon or ginger, adding depth and complexity to the flavor.
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