South Africa: Port St Francis, Home of SA's World-Beating Calamari


St Francis Bay is one of the tourist meccas of the Eastern Cape but many have not heard of neighbouring Port St Francis just a few minutes away. GORDON WRIGHT visited one of the few privately owned harbours in South Africa and found some world-class calamari in a classic Mom & Pop eatery on the quayside.

So, calamari is calamari, right?

Well, not so much...

The major seafood retailers and restaurant franchises rave about the fabulous Patagonian or the European squid they import but those in the know are acutely aware that this is mostly inferior quality and thus cheap and assume that our South African palates won't know the difference. Generally, they are correct.

The fact of the matter is that some of the world's finest squid and calamari come from the good old Eastern Cape, specifically, Port St Francis.

Us Saffers just don't get to have it because it is highly sought-after and thus mostly exported to Spain and the other Mediterranean countries for top dollar. It's a personal gripe of mine that we produce some of the best calamari on the planet but seldom get the chance to taste it. A bit like working in the Ferrari...

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