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Whilst watching women carefully cleaving the meat from the bone, you get to sample a cooked portion of this prepared authentic Zulu delicacy of bovine [cow] head meat, along with traditional dumpling [steamed bread] served on wooden boards…an experience to remember!

Bovine Head cooks began dishing up this delicacy on the sidewalks outside of the Early Morning Market. Due to logistical and health concerns of defrosting the cow heads, cooking them and disposing of the cooking water the cooks moved into a facility provided for them.

Bovine head meat is a Zulu delicacy. Originally the preparation of cow head was done only by men, however, nowadays women are able to prepare the meat and are the predominant traders within this particular market. Traditionally, only men are allowed to sit at the tables and have their meal, while women can buy the meat as a ‘take-away’.  

The preparation of the dish begins with trolley operators collecting cow heads from local butcheries. The women then skin the heads, cleave the meat off the skulls and boil the meat in the large pots along with dumplings, a traditional steamed bread. The boiled meat is then presented on wooden chopping boards to customers, who enjoy it along with dumplings, broth and salt and chilies as condiments.

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