Two-faced Cookie Exposes Politician

Two-faced Cookie
Image Credit : Desmond Louw, DNA Photographers/Al Jazeera

Cape Town’s Culinary Statements: Hertzoggies and Tweegevrietjies

Visiting Wembley Bakery in Belgravia, a Cape Town suburb historically designated for “Coloured” people during apartheid, promises a delightful culinary experience, best enjoyed on an empty stomach. Rows of freshly baked cakes, tarts, cookies, and doughnuts await, offering a mix of familiar international treats and unique local delicacies.

Among the offerings are red velvet cupcakes, jam swiss rolls, custard doughnuts, fragrant “koesisters” coated with desiccated coconut, meringue-topped “Hertzoggies,” and vibrant pink-and-brown “tweegevrietjies.”

Hertzoggies, named after Afrikaner nationalist JBM Hertzog, are bite-sized delights originating from the 1920s. They feature a crisp biscuit shell filled with apricot jam and topped with spiced coconut meringue. Interestingly, Hertzog’s white, female supporters invented them, and they became a staple at National Party events, despite the party’s later implementation of apartheid.

However, Hertzoggies also became symbolic for a different segment of the population. As chef Cass Abrahams explains, they were initially associated with Hertzog’s promises of equality for women and people of color. When Hertzog failed to deliver on these promises, Coloured women responded by baking tweegevrietjies, a sarcastic version of the Hertzoggie. These two-faced cookies, crudely iced in pink and brown, symbolized Hertzog’s broken promises and lack of refinement.

Both versions remain popular today, often served at Cape Malay gatherings and events, including Eid celebrations. The Wembley Bakery alone sells around 1,500 classic Hertzoggies and 800 tweegevrietjies weekly.

The historical context behind these treats reflects South Africa’s complex political landscape. In the 1920s, politicians like Hertzog attempted to address the “native question” by proposing solutions based on segregation and disenfranchisement. Hertzog’s promises to Coloured voters led to his electoral success but ultimately resulted in policies that eroded civil rights.

The culinary heritage of Cape Malay women, originating from centuries of slavery, continues to influence South African cuisine. While many recipes have been shared, the stories behind treats like Hertzoggies and tweegevrietjies remain largely oral, passed down through generations as a reminder of political struggles and resilience.

Repurposed article originally published in Aljazeera

Two-faced Cookie Exposes Politician

Two-faced Cookie
Image Credit : Desmond Louw, DNA Photographers/Al Jazeera

Cape Town’s Culinary Statements: Hertzoggies and Tweegevrietjies

Visiting Wembley Bakery in Belgravia, a Cape Town suburb historically designated for “Coloured” people during apartheid, promises a delightful culinary experience, best enjoyed on an empty stomach. Rows of freshly baked cakes, tarts, cookies, and doughnuts await, offering a mix of familiar international treats and unique local delicacies.

Among the offerings are red velvet cupcakes, jam swiss rolls, custard doughnuts, fragrant “koesisters” coated with desiccated coconut, meringue-topped “Hertzoggies,” and vibrant pink-and-brown “tweegevrietjies.”

Hertzoggies, named after Afrikaner nationalist JBM Hertzog, are bite-sized delights originating from the 1920s. They feature a crisp biscuit shell filled with apricot jam and topped with spiced coconut meringue. Interestingly, Hertzog’s white, female supporters invented them, and they became a staple at National Party events, despite the party’s later implementation of apartheid.

However, Hertzoggies also became symbolic for a different segment of the population. As chef Cass Abrahams explains, they were initially associated with Hertzog’s promises of equality for women and people of color. When Hertzog failed to deliver on these promises, Coloured women responded by baking tweegevrietjies, a sarcastic version of the Hertzoggie. These two-faced cookies, crudely iced in pink and brown, symbolized Hertzog’s broken promises and lack of refinement.

Both versions remain popular today, often served at Cape Malay gatherings and events, including Eid celebrations. The Wembley Bakery alone sells around 1,500 classic Hertzoggies and 800 tweegevrietjies weekly.

The historical context behind these treats reflects South Africa’s complex political landscape. In the 1920s, politicians like Hertzog attempted to address the “native question” by proposing solutions based on segregation and disenfranchisement. Hertzog’s promises to Coloured voters led to his electoral success but ultimately resulted in policies that eroded civil rights.

The culinary heritage of Cape Malay women, originating from centuries of slavery, continues to influence South African cuisine. While many recipes have been shared, the stories behind treats like Hertzoggies and tweegevrietjies remain largely oral, passed down through generations as a reminder of political struggles and resilience.

Repurposed article originally published in Aljazeera