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Eating Bunnies

I’ve only eaten one bunny so far, but I am sure to devour at least one more before I leave. Bunnies are delicious.

Bunny chow (or “a bunny”) is classic Durban cuisine: a hollowed-out square loaf of soft bread, filled with rich, spicy HOT curry that you eat with your fingers. It’s messy, very yummy, and travels well.

Like all great South African food, Bunny Chow represents a grand mix of culture and flavors, blending traditions from Durban’s Indian population (curry that makes you gasp), with the European (white bread), and African (use your hands).

Bunnies come in different sizes (quarter, half, and whole loaves of bread), and different flavors (e.g. vegetarian, chicken, lamb), and everyone in Durban has their one beloved take-away (carryout) shop that they trust to make the best bunnies in town.

As an outsider with nary a clue, I did my own survey on the beach, asking just about everyone I saw, “Where is the best bunny in Durban?”

I got a lot of different responses, but the one that kept coming up was the Britannia Hotel in the north side of the city. Built in 1877, this stalwart port hotel been around longer than the bunny itself. Just coming to a place like this is enough to make you wonder who slept and ate at this one hotel through the so many eras.

Sure enough, my first bunny was a success, leaving my lips burning and my tummy happy. As unattractive as it might first look and as strange as it might sound, I loved eating a Durban bunny and I recommend it highly (if you can cope with the heat). It’s just one of those things you just have to eat while you’re here!

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A "quarter mutton" bunny at the Britannia Hotel, Durban, South Africa (Photo by Andrew Evans, National Geographic Traveler)

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