Sail, Sip & Savor Durban, South Africa

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

The port city of Durban hugs its scenic coastline. The connections to Zulus, Portuguese, Indian and British explorers show through the architecture, tastes and traditions. See the Vasco De Gama Clock Tower, Old Market Square’s municipal buildings and the Natural History Museum. Be enamored by orchids and fauna at the Durban Botanical Gardens or the beach scene at Golden Mile. Shop the vibrant Victoria Street Market.

SAIL:  Durban. Bring South African flavors and flair home. The Zulu tribal influence is clear with colorful textiles, baskets, beaded work, art, ivory and wooden carvings. Stock up on superb spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

SIP:  Pinot Noir or “Pinotage” Blend. South African wines, especially Pinot Noir, are making their mark and getting noticed. Pinotage is their unique varietal that is often blended with a bigger red like a Cabernet or Merlot but is bottled on its own here.

SAVOR: Bunny Chow. This spiced curry “sandwich” is a Durban original thanks to its large Indian community. Hollowed out bread is filled with chicken, lamb or vegetable curry and served with sambal (carrot, onion and chili salad).

Mara Papatheodorou Mara Papatheodorou is a Master Foodie, a Tastes & Traditions Expert and a nationally established entertaining specialist. She has interpreted the cuisine and experienced the culture of over 65 countries worldwide. As an 11 year Contributing Editor at BON APPETIT Magazine, Mara scouted and produced the Entertaining with Style section that highlighted how real people entertain around the country and the world and was editor of their international editions. She works as a consultant with food companies developing recipes, menus and promotional campaigns.

Mara is the Tastes & Traditions Expert for Regent Seven Seas Cruises where she lectures regularly about the history of cuisine and culture and what to sip and savor in various ports. Watch her dining and wine tour videos on our website under multimedia. She next sails on the Seven Seas Navigator from New York to Canada October 12-22, 2014. You can read more about her at

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