The golden Gatsby

Having been relatively new in Cape Town a few years ago I had no idea that a Gatsby [pronounced Gatsbee] was actually something edible. I was only familiar with The Great Gatsby era and obviously movie (which, luckily has got a little somethin’ to do with the name). To my surprise, I had apparently ‘not lived‘ until I had tasted a Gatsby.

My one friend, Marcello Adams is particularly fond of Gatsbies. And he will tell you (probably until the day he dies) that Golden Dish in Athlone makes thee best Gatsbies in the whole of Cape Town.

As far as my knowledge and research goes, the Gatsby originated from the Cape – even though a lot of Durbanites might disagree with that statement. Legend has it that this monster-meal was discovered (or rather invented) quite accidentally in the 70s when Rashaad Pandy and some workers ended up at Super Fisheries on Klipfontein Road hungry after the day’s work. He heated up some of the left-over slap chips (aka hot chips), took a round Portuguese loaf, added some polony and atchar, and voila! – the Gatsby was born.

According to the story, one of the workers, Froggy, said to Rashaad: “Laanie, this is a gatsby smash!” meaning “Boss, this is a great meal!” Apparently that had something to do with the Great Gatsby movie that was showing at the local film house at the time and everyone referred to amazing things as “gatsby”.

Later on, Gatsbies were however being served on footlong rolls rather than round Portuguese rolls, mainly because the long rolls were easier to portion since Gatsbies are humongous and are great sharing-meals.

You can easily attempt to make your own Gatsby at home (although I can’t guarantee that it will taste nearly as good as one from the right kind of shop). It can be stuffed with anything really… from viennas or Russians to fish or steak masala – and don’t forget the slap chips.

Image via Evan-Lee Courie (@Evan1985)

There you have it,  if you are tight on budget, a Gatsby is the way to go.

For more:
– Wikipedia
– The Culinary Linguist
– The Curious Kitchen


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