Talk by Valerie Elder on
the Slow Food Raw Milk Presidium. Silwood Kitchen, 18h30.
Visit to Roger Jorgensens' distillery in
Wellington with lunch afterwards at the Oude Wellington restaurant.
Salt, and wine and food pairing lunch with
Craig Cormack at Bergkelder.
SLOW FOOD SOUTH AFRICA MEETING
Report by Pat Rademeyer
Slow Food CT members will remember that a national meeting
was set up by the Italian head office of Slow Food, to
initiate an open discussion on developing a strategy for
Slow Food in South Africa.
In the past Slow Food operated as two parts of the same
body: Slow Food with the Association, its members and the
convivia on the one hand; and the Terra Madre network,
consisting of the food communities, chefs, youth and
academics, on the other. The Congress of 2012 decided that
these groups should be united, and work under the umbrella
of Slow Food.
The meeting was attended by loyal SF CT members Valerie
Elder, Luisa Feitera and Philip du Plessis, as well as
members of the committee. It was very good to meet members
of the other Slow Food groups from all over the country, and
to hear about their activities.
The meeting was not conducted in the usual formal way,
perhaps because of Italian and English language
difficulties, and a different approach to meetings
generally. It was difficult to follow the aims of the
meeting, but as the day progressed, it became clearer that
the various arms of Slow Food in South Africa were to be
merged into one organisation, and that the convivia would be
expected to support the other communities in the group.
details are set out in the official minutes of the meeting
on the website
We met Zayaan Khan of the Surplus Peoples Project (SPP), and
leader of the Slow Food Youth Network. We will be running a
joint event with the Network and the Mother City group in
June, to inform our members about the SA Raw Milk Cheese
Presidium. This meeting is scheduled for 19 June.
We also spoke to Desmond Adams, a farmer from Riebeek West,
and he asked us to visit him and other small farmers in the
area, to see where we could assist them with contacts for
their produce, and to see where other assistance could be
given. (See report below).
It was a good opportunity to discuss with Hein van Tonder
the possibility of working together with the Mother City
convivium. The two committees arranged the visit to Riebeek
West in May with Zayaan Khan, to see how we could help
Desmond and the farmers in that area.
DARLING OUTING TO THE BREWERY AND GROOTE POST
Report by Janet Steer
Fifty or sixty years ago the small West Coast town of
Darling would have been known chiefly for its glorious
display of wild flowers in the spring, and the district's
accent with its distinctive Malmesbury 'brei'. The latter
always brings to mind the story of a visiting British
colonial dignitary who stopped to ask of a local lady 'My
dear, why do you roll your r's so?' Her reply: 'Ag no sir,
it's only when I wear high polfys' (high heeled shoes).
Well, the flowers are still a riot of colour but Pieter Dirk
Uys has put a whole new life into Darling's high heels, and
now there is yet another reason to visit this platteland
town: Darling Brew.
The brewery itself is being renovated, so the group from
Slow Food met in the Taproom at #5 Main street, where we
sampled the six beers in current production, while brewer
Kevin Wood and wife Philippa told us their story. About ten
years ago, on the return leg of a trip into Africa, they met
a brewer in Nieu Bethesda, bought his recipe and some
hands-on tuition, and Darling Brew was born. Creating the
product has meant hard work and terrifying financial
commitment. There was no easy access to that crucial
ingredient, suitable water. Despite the drawbacks, they've
come through it all with a great product and are now the
third largest micro brewery in South Africa.
Their marketing reflects the couple's passion for our
wildlife, from which the various styles of beer derive their
names: for example, the geometric tortoise is the emblem of
the Slow brew, and the white beer is called Bone Crusher
after the hyena. Contributions from sales are made to
projects involved with the protection of these threatened
creatures. Reduced alcohol beers are available, encouraging
We moved on over dust roads to lunch at
Hilda's Kitchen, the Groote Post restaurant run by Shaun and Debbie McLaughlin of
Trinity Guest House in Darling. Shaun manages front-of-house
while Debbie produces amazing food with a Hildagonda Duckitt
twist from her tiny kitchen. We tucked into some delicious
local charcuterie followed by a tart of mushrooms sourced
from a grower in Hopefield. Shaun ran us through suggested
wine pairings from the Groote Post range, leaving the final
choice to the individual diners. Our main course was Karoo
lamb with salsa verde and a vegetable mélange, followed by a
totally decadent romery buttermilk tart with granadilla and
home-made coconut ice cream.
I came home inspired and dusted off my Hildagonda Duckitt's
650 Cookery recipes, a collection taken from her Diary of a
Cape Householder and Where is it, printed in 1951. As with
the original publications, the recipes are arranged
alphabetically. Under the heading 'Soup - Tortoise' I
stopped in my tracks. I quote :
I know of several instances where children seemed to be
just wasting away at the ages of two and three, and have
been strengthened and restored by soup made by boiling down
the whole tortoise, after chopping off its head, scrubbing
it well, and then boiling it well till the parts separate.
The juice strained and taken. To kill a tortoise, our old
cook, Abraham used to scratch its back, and when the
tortoise put out its head he chopped it off.
The legs of the tortoise after it is boiled and the liver
(which is a special delicacy), after the removal of the
gall-bag, eaten with lemon and pepper and salt, is much
appreciated by invalids when they can take nothing else (of
course it is an acquired taste). It is also very nice when
scalloped with a little butter and breadcrumbs.
Fortunately, although we do punt Slow Food, tortoise is no
longer on offer.
This is not a restaurant you can pop into when passing (not
unless you are seriously lost), so contact them well in
advance for a lunch booking. Then on the way plan to swing
through Darling for beer and Pieter Dirk, and your overseas
visitors will have had a day to remember, just as we did.
TWO VISITS TO OEP VE KOEP IN PATERNOSTER
April and 3 June
The visit to the Bistro at
Oep ve Koep in
Paternoster was an exciting culinary adventure.
Kobus van der Merwe has a reputation as an an
innovative chef who makes imaginative use of
local ingredients, gathered from the dunes, the
beach and the surrounding veld. Many of these
plants were known to, and used by, our
ancestors, but have fallen out of use in our
present-day, fast-food, supermarket society. In
the courtyard behind shop, diners sit at tables
surrounded by pots of herbs and wild plants.
The meal began with an oyster, served 'in its
element', that is, simply, with just the taste
of the sea. This was followed by a fish ceviche,
surrounded by pink grapefruit segments, fennel
seeds, and the large, fleshy leaf of the ice
plant, an indigenous succulent with a tart,
citrusy taste. All the flavours blended
perfectly. Next was a mussel bobotie, served
with a peach mebos and seekoraal, also known as
samphire, and this was followed by an ostrich
steak, accompanied by dune spinach and
klipkombers, a local seaweed a bit like nori.
The meal was rounded off with a zabaglione mad
with chenin blanc.
Throughout the meal we nibbled on Kobus's
homemade bread, baked using flour from a local
mill. After spending the night in Paternoster,
we paid a visit to Oep ve Koep the next morning,
just as he was taking his loaves out of the
oven. We stocked up with warm ciabattas to bring
back to town, and drove home with the yeasty
scent of freshly-baked bread in our nostrils..
CHEESE TASTING AND 2014 SLOW FOOD CHEESE AWARDS
On 27 March, the committees of Slow Food Cape Town and
Mother City got together at a cheese tasting to decide
on the recipients of the
2014 Slow Cheese Awards.
Valerie Elder, of the Real Cheese, brought along a
number of cheeses from local artisanal cheesemakers for
us to sample, and the tasters voted to make seven awards
for exceptional cheeses. We have had stickers printed
which the makers can attach to these cheeses. The
following makers received awards:
IMHOFF FARM in Kommetjie:
Denise van der Horst for her
range of innovative goat and cow's cheeses.
BEACONSFIELD DAIRY near Cradock in the Karoo:
Lord for his semi-soft goat's milk cheese in the Manchego style.
DALEWOOD FROMAGE in Paarl:
Robert Visser for his brine
washed 'Boland' semi soft cow's cheese.
FOXENBERG DAIRY in Agter Paarl:
Marianne Hemmes for her
'Foxtail' cheddar style goat's cheese.
GANSVLEI DAIRY in Knysna:
Chris Meterlerkamp for his
cow's 'Goukambert' mild cheese with a tang.
JUST CHEESE in Pietermaritzburg:
MJ Mook for her cow's 'Boerenkaas' semi soft flavourful cheese.
PINTO FAMILY in Johannesburg:
Norma Pinto for her cow's 'Pinto's PeriPeri' made with pimentos.
The Cape Town Slow Food AGM was held on Wednesday 21 May at
Silwood Kitchen. It was preceded by a short talk on salt, given
by chef Craig Cormack.
The standing committee was re-elected, with the exception of
Jackie Leone, who has had to resign because of pressure of work.
Her contribution will be greatly missed. We also welcome back
Erika Reynolds, returned from her stint in Malaysia. The
committee is as follows:
Stephen Flesch - Chair
Lorna von Biesouw - Secretary
Cecily van Gend
VISIT OF CAPE TOWN AND MOTHER CITY COMMITTEES TO RIEBEEK WEST
The meeting at Riebeek West on 24th May took place on a blustery
beanies-and-boots day. Zayaan Khan, of the Surplus Peoples
Project (SPP), members of Slow Food CT, Slow Food Mother City,
and the Slow Food Youth Network got together with Desmond Adams
on the Allesverloren farm, where he and five others raise their
They have no security of tenure and expressed reluctance
to ask the farm owner for a contract. In effect this means they
are unable to apply for a loan through the Western Cape
Department of Agriculture, as this requires a 9-year lease
agreement as a prerequisite. Our visit confirmed that:
Since they have no access
to water they are unable to cultivate cheap fodder, so
cannot grow the pigs on to maturity.
Slaughtering through the
local abattoir is expensive, and doesn't distinguish
between their organically raised animals and the rest.
Supplying local families would require refrigeration.
This would appear to be the extent of their current
There is no quick fix.
Mandy Booys from SPP is trying to establish access to commonage,
but information from the Swartland Municipality is not
Our group felt best able to help by trying to ease things in the
short term. Philip Myburgh of Joostenberg would be approached
for advice and possible assistance. Peter Templeton of
Goedgedacht Trust would also be asked whether he would be
prepared to advise on the viability of this farming enterprise.
Goodbyes, thanks said and promises made, we retreated to our
warm cars and headed home aware that things look very bleak for
these aspirant farmers.