Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bunny Chow

On a cold, wet day I crave warm comfort-food, something with a bit of “zing” to it. Tuesday was just such a day, so Grant went and got us a couple of Bunny Chows for lunch and they didn’t disappoint.

The Bunny Chow is usually referred to by locals as a “Bunny”. It is, quite simply, a hollowed out quarter loaf of bread, the cavity is filled with a good curry and the bread which was extracted from the centre (now called the “virgin”) is placed on top. The bunny is eaten by hand; usually the “virgin” is dipped into the curry and eaten first and then the balance of the curry is eaten, along with torn off pieces of crust. If you’re particularly hungry you can get a half or full Bunny and the curry can be either beef, mutton, chicken or bean.

Bunny Chow

The exact origins of the Bunny are not quite clear, but there is a theory that it was invented for the Indian caddies, working at the Royal Durban Golf Course, who were unable to get off from work for long enough to nip into Grey Street for a curry at lunchtime. The story goes that they got their friends to go and buy the curry for them and that it was brought back to the golf course in hollowed-out loaves of bread because there were no disposable food containers at the time.

Talk to any self-respecting Kwa-Zulu Natalian and they are bound have a “Bunny story” to relate; no doubt they will tell you about the hottest Bunny that they ever encountered, the tastiest filling they ever experienced and they will probably advise you as to where to buy the best Bunny. If you are ever in KZN, do yourself a favour and find a purveyor of good bunnies and get yourself one – you won’t be sorry!

Thanks to Allan Jackson for permission to use excerpts from his excellent article on Bunny Chow, published by FAD, which can be found here and for the use of his photo.


ollie1976 said...

Sounds good.

Hsien Lei said...

That's fascinating! I've never heard of Bunny Chow before. Maybe I'll try making my own version sometime. :)

Wayfarer Scientista said...

Love that photo! It resonates with me... the weather here is also condusive to warm food and drinks. Bunny Chow sounds delicious! Have one for me.

tegdirb92 said...

that looks and sounds so delicious!! I have never heard of that!!

jen said...

yum, yum, yum. for more reasons than one.

Fifi said...

In the early 90's...... when I was clubbing profusely!..... we would go to a take-away in Durban central that sold the best Bunny chows EVER! It was still open at 3 in the morning... and the bunny chow did it's job of soaking up the excess alcohol in our systems!!!!!Naughty, naughty..... but great memories!
Trying to remember the name of the takeaway? Have any idea?
Love Fifi

Gill said...

LOL Fifi, I was known to use bunny chow as a hangover cure in my misspent youth! In those "bad ol' days" we would head to Leydens in Berea Rd in the wee small hours.

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