A Gatsby is a humongous edible deathtrap that I encountered in Cape Town. If you wanted a heart attack, then surely eating a Gatsby a day must do it!
In my recent blog on some of the most famous sandwiches in the world, I didn’t include the icon of Cape Town – The Gatsby. That’s because it is just so beyond comprehension that it can hardly be taken seriously as a sandwich anyway! You can usually purchase a half or a whole Gatsby, although the whole ones are not intended to be eaten alone – it requires teamwork to tackle this monstrosity!
I have been thinking of which foods out there are actually more unhealthy for you than a Gatsby, and I have yet to come up with anything. I am sure when I visit New York, I will find something! Perhaps some of the street food dumplings that you find in South East Asia where they coat in syrupy sugar before serving to you is worse for your teeth than a Gatsby, but worse for your heart? Doubt there’s anything in Asia.
I really wanted to try a Gatsby myself – albeit against my better judgement – and I found a good little place in the heart of the CBD called Mariam’s Kitchen. This is where I had my first ever Gatsby (I did have another one before I flew to Madagascar, though!) and it cost me R42.95.
Filled with chips and a meat of your choice (I had chicken, though it was somewhat overcooked), this foot-long baguette-style bread reminds of me of the Banh Mi from Vietnam, although the Vietnamese are thankfully much more healthy than their South African counterparts, as they prefer to fill their breads with salads and pickles and occasionally some hearty pork belly – no chips included! And that’s the problem: in South Africa, if you don’t include the chips it’s simply not a real Gatsby!
I am not ashamed to say that I did not finish eating my chicken and chips Gatsby. In fact, I never had any intention of completing it anyway. However, the chance to eat like a local when I am travelling is too good a temptation to turn down for an aspiring ‘foodie’ like me, so the Gatsby (and the bunny chow) were obvious experiments! I think next time, though, I need to order some healthier South African street food…perhaps some masala pineapples?
And how did I burn off these Gatsby calories the following morning? I adventured up the amazing Table Mountain of course – and ran away from some demented baboons!