Talk about an evolution! This humble piece of a hollowed-out quarter loaf of bread filled with chips, processed meats, sauces and so much more, has gone through quite a journey.
Whether you call it a kota as it is known in Soweto and Johannesburg, sphatlo like the people of Pretoria or skhambane as it is called in the Vaal. It is undeniable that the kota is king of South African street food and street culture.
A huge part of kota culture is the nostalgia element, whether you used to eat it at school during lunch or when you visited your grandmother, there is just something about a kota that feels like home.
Kota menus can range from classic to gourmet (which is what many refer to as the kota that went to private school) the options are endless not to mention delicious.
Recently we have seen several kota restaurants emerge in the township, they offer the restaurant experience with a sprinkling of kasi flavour. The atmosphere is relaxed, carefree, your current favourite song is probably playing in the background and you get to eat a kota of your choice, it doesn’t get better. These restaurants are a street culture hotspot, and everyone should experience it at least once.
Through kota festivals we were able to truly celebrate this unsung hero of ours, for all its diversity and uniqueness. Kota vendors from all over would gather and show off their skill and we’d see whose kota reigns supreme.
The kota business is at the centre of township economies, helping create employment and put food on the table for many.
Remember the only way to eat a kota is with your hands and around a group of friends.