History of Cape Town's quintessential street food - the Gatsby

As one might imagine, the Cape's iconic Gatsby was named after The Great Gatsby, a 1925 novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The connection between that and a sandwich? No one really knows...

What is a Gatsby? 

A Gatsby is a footlong bread roll stuffed with hot chips, usually a protein like steak, salami, viennas or calamari and a spicy sauce, with sometimes a hint of lettuce or tomato. 

Food24 met the man responsible for the invention of the Gatsby and let's just say... we were a little star struck. 

eating a gatsby

Rashaad Pandy has been operating his takeaway business, Super Fisheries in Athlone, Cape Town since 1974 and like most of the world's best culinary creations, says that the Gatsby was created by accident when he found himself in one of those 'nothing in the fridge' moments. It contained chips, polony and atchar. It was so well-received that he made it a permanent fixture on his menu and the rest, as they say, is history. Over the years variations of the theme have been introduced - each being saucy and delicious in their own way. 

creator of the gatsby sandwich

(Image: streetfoodfestival.co.za)

Fast food goes hand in hand with soft drinks and you won't find a Capetonian eating a Gatsby, a vetkoek or a burger pie without sipping something made locally - like a Jive cooldrink. The best Gatsby pairing? An ice-cold Mango Tango. The sweet, tropical flavours mingle magically with the spicy bite of the sauce-covered chips.

It's lekker dyt! 

TRY: The braai Gatsby

Check out -  5 Great places for Gatsbys in Cape Town