RECENT EVENTS  

PROTEA HILL FARM VINEGARS

     

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

  NEW SLOW FOOD CONVIVIA
     
TERRA MADRE DAY   THE FIRST SOUTHERN AFRICAN PRESIDIUM PROJECT: ZULU SHEEP
     
SA CHEESE AWARDED GOLD AT WORLD CHEESE AWARDS   BOOK REVIEWS
     
CHEESE TYPES: SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES    

 

 

RECENT EVENTS

 
Kimilili Cheese Farm
On Sunday 6 September Slow members visited Kimilili farm in Tulbagh, where cheeesemaker Robert von Tobien explained how his cheeses were made, and we were given an opportunity to taste and buy some of the award-winning cheeses. This was followed by a wine tasting and excellent buffet lunch at Manley’s Wine Lodge. (See below)


Protea Hill Farm
On Saturday 17 October we paid a visit to Protea Hill Farm near Stellenbosch, where Slow Food Cape Town members Erica and Martin Gruenert grow granadillas and make their award-winning range of fruit, herb and flower-infused vinegars. (See below)
     


 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

Sunday, 29 November
Our end-of year event will be a spit braai at the home of Stephen and Pat Flesch at Zeekoevlei. There will be a fund-raising raffle with some fabulous prizes.

Thursday, 10 December
Terra Madre Day, to be celebrated internationally. The local celebration will take place at the Pinelands Community Hall, St Stephens Road off Forest Drive (behind the BP Garage ). Time 12 noon to 9pm. (See below)


February, 20 2010
A Visit to Tierhoek in the Robertson area, a certified organic farm producing fruit, olives and vegetables. This will be followed by a lunch at Toontjiesrivier.

 
 

TERRA MADRE DAY

 

Terra Madre (from the Italian for ‘Mother Earth’) is an international network of food communities, each committed to producing quality food in a responsible, sustainable way.

On Thursday 10 December, for the first time, Terra Madre Day will be celebrated worldwide.

In Cape Town our celebration brings together over 35 organic food growers. The prime mover of this event is Petrina Roberts, from the MENNGOS Organic Food programme, who will be amongst the participants.


  
  
 Ntomzana Eastern Cape Organic Gardener of Year 2008     

The celebration will take place in the Pinelands Community Hall, St Stephens Road, (off Forest Drive, behind the BP Garage), from 12 noon to 9pm. It will take the form of an Organic Growers Market and a Christmas Market with exciting ideas for gifts. The theme of the market will be ‘Celebrating a Green Christmas’, with over 40 stallholders participating. These will include:
 
Erica and Martin Gruenert from Protea Hills farm with their award-winning range of fruit, herb and flower-infused balsamic vinegars
Miri with her potjiekos, roosterbrood and other traditional fare
Mr and Mrs Goliath from Mitchell's Plain, ardent supporters of our Slow Food Community Market concept, selling recycled art and craft at very affordable prices
Carol with her Reiki and Massage skills to ease away your pains and stresses, who will also have her mosaic work on sale
Nontwenhle with handmade chocolates (she also supplies to Pick and Pay)
Madge from Bothasig with beautifully crafted handmade door stoppers (who remembers them?)
Shihaam selling a range of great traditional fare, tea and coffee
A selection of featherlight, home-baked cakes by Alison
A range of vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants, as well as organic compost and soil, from organic producers.
Joseph with his award winning sprouts
Sweets made in Heaven by Perveen, also her urban chic, handcrafted jewellery
Kim will be selling light beverages to keep the juices flowing
Christmas cakes, biscuits and other edibles for the festive season
Handmade pickles, achar and pestos by Annette and Denise
Mary Anne will be promoting car and home fire extinguishers for a safer silly season. She is also in charge of the children's activities.

Come along and see for yourself. Schools are closing the next day, so bring the children – we have an exciting programme lined up for them. There is also entertainment for the adults.

Contact: Petrina 083 281 7198/ 021 761 2373 or menngos@mweb.co.za. Watch our blog www.menngos.org.za  or updates on Terra Madre Day. Let us all join hands to make this a successful event for all slow foodies.
  
   

 
 

SA CHEESE AWARDED GOLD AT WORLD CHEESE AWARDS

 
SA cheeses have done it it again. The 2009 World Cheese Awards drew entries from 34 countries on four continents and South African cheese makers did themselves proud by winning six Gold, three Silver and five Bronze medals.

The annual competition, run by the UK’s Guild of Fine Food, was staged this year in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on October 1. More than 150 judges from 24 countries, including Mexico, South Africa, Japan and Australia, scored the 2 440 entries in a marathon sensory evaluation session to select the award winners.

Kobus Mulder, Agri-Expo’s Manager: Dairy, was one of the international judges and a member of the Supreme jury of thirteen experts to select the World champion cheese from the fifteen best cheeses. Only 140 cheeses from around the world were awarded gold medals.
  


  

                                 Belnori Cheesery  

Parmalat SA adds another outstanding achievement to their long list of awards for top products with two gold and two bronze medals. Their Smoked Salmon Cream cheese and Medium Cheddar received Gold medals, while the Green pepper Camembert and Simonzola were awarded Bronze medals.

Fairview Vineyard Cheesery in Suider-Paarl were awarded Gold medals for their prizewinning Roydon Camembert as well as for the Blue Tower. Healy’s Cheese in Somerset West received Gold and Bronze medals for their Traditional Farmhouse Cheddars while De Pekelaar Cheese from Patensie walked away with a Gold medal for their Oud Boerenkaas.

Lancewood Cheese follows suit with a Silver medal for their Superior cream cheese and Bronze medals for the Superior Plain cream cheese and Low Fat Chunky cottage cheese.

Silver medals were awarded to Belnori Goat’s Milk for their Goat’s Milk Feta and Dalewood Fromage for their Huguenot.

Fairview Vineyard Cheesery’s Blue Tower received the sought after Agri-Expo Trophy for the best South African cheese during the Awards Dinner.  

 
 

CHEESE TYPES: SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES


Robert von Tobien has made some very helpful notes about cheese.

Pick up any of the cheese lovers’ coffee table books and you will be confronted with over a thousand cheeses of the world. To help the cheese buyer to make better informed purchasing decisions I have attempted to offer a sort of classification scheme to simplify this confusing cheese world. Of course, when simplifying and grouping cheese into families there will inevitably be some that do not fit, but most will, so the classification is useful.

What complicates matters in the world of cheeses is the fact that no single classification scheme is acceptable to all – there are several that overlay each other. Those with classification elements in common make up a cheese family; individual cheeses are distinguished and defined by those elements they do not have in common.

So here we go – these are some of the criteria used most often to describe cheeses:
 
The animal providing the milk: usually cow, goat or sheep, there are but also mixed milk cheeses
Milk treatment: raw milk or pasteurised milk
Production scale: estate or farmhouse, artisanal, cooperative or industrial
Texture: soft, semisoft (uncooked – unpressed), semi hard (uncooked - pressed) hard (cooked – pressed)
Bacteria used to effect the ripening process
  - Penicillin Candidum – Bloomy rind or white mould cheeses like Brie or Camembert
  - Brevibacterium linen – Washed rind or Monastery cheeses, sticky red surface mold, strong
  aroma ( Munster or Epoisses)
  - Penicillin Roqueforti – Blue veined cheeses
  - Proprionic bacteria – create the holes in Emmental type cheeses
Production technique
  - Size matters a great deal i.e. 70 gram vs. 45 Kg
  - Curd handling: i.e. cheddaring cheese (a pressing technique) or stretched curd cheeses
  (Mozzarella and Provolone)
  - Salting method: surface-salted, brine bath or in the vat
Country and Region of Origin


So now you have a seven-faced Rubic’s cube which will enable you to define the common elements of a particular cheese and articulate how they are different. A Munster, Pont l’Eveque, Epoisses and Vinters Hook are all soft-washed rind cheeses, the first three are from various regions in France, the last one is made here at Kimilili Farm in South Africa. Though they are all members of the same cheese family, they may differ in taste as a result of the milk treatment and of course the terroir i.e. the fodder that the animals graze as they produce the milk, the stage of their lactation, the season of the year.

Kimilili Farm makes Farmhouse or Estate cheeses, using raw, i.e. unpasteurised cows’ milk from its own production. We farm organically. Our range of cheeses include fresh lactic fermentation cheeses (Cape Mosonais); soft and semi-soft, surface-salted, washed-rind cheeses (Vinter’s Hook and Tomme Obiqua); hard (cooked – pressed) brine-salted, brushed-rind cheeses (Mountain Cheese, Pepato and Witzenberger).


Be bold – experiment and enjoy the many different cheeses available not just from Kimilili Farm but many of the other wonderful cheeses made with care in South Africa.

 
 
 

PROTEA HILL FARM VINEGARS

  
Erica and Martin Gruenert bought Protea Hill Farm in 1995, and began growing raspberries – in the open, not in tunnels or under shade cloth, and picked when fully ripe These found a ready market in Cape Town’s restaurants, but, as Erica points out, there are always ‘seconds’, and these they turned into raspberry wine, and ultimately into vinegar, aged in vats. Gradually this side of the business grew, and their raspberry balsamic vinegar received and EAT IN award in 2006 and 2007.

Martin experimented by flavouring the vinegar with various herbs. They are aged in vats for several years, so they have an intense flavor, and contain no additives – no molasses, caramelised sugars, flavour enhancers or colourants.

They now have a range of 13 flavours, and export to Europe on a large scale. The operation grew so rapidly that Protea Hill became too small to produce the amount of fruit needed, and an additional farm was bought at Lutzville, where the climate is favourable for raspberry growing. Erica has provided some tips on how to use the various flavoured vinegars. Below are tips on using just some of the range.

Balsamic Raspberry Vinegar: This is the award-winning vinegar, matured for three years, with a fruity taste, deep red colour, clear appearance. It is extremely versatile, and can be used, for example, with red berry fruits or fruit salads, on avocado and other vegetables, in marinades, and sauces, and is superb with goats’ Cheese, with Parmesan, and even on ice cream.
You do not even need to use oils in your salad dressing.

Balsamic Raspberry and Merlot Vinegar: Enjoy it on ice cream and sweets with berries, with avocado and other vegetables, even on pizza and pita bread, on oysters and fish dishes, with any salad as a dressing, even with no oils for slimming purposes but still to be able to enjoy a healthy meal.

Balsamic Dill: Perfect for fish. Make ceviche by spraying it onto thinly-sliced raw fish – the vinegar ‘cooks’ the fish. It is also delicious on English cucumber salad.

Balsamic Basil: Use on avocado or poured onto the classic Italian salad Caprese. It goes with anything containing tomato, onions and vegetables, and is superb with pasta and mozzarella cheese.

Balsamic Mint: is useful on marinades and with lamb, is wonderful in a taboulleh, and good with feta cheese and lentils.

Balsamic Fresh Coriander: is perfect for all Asian-style dressings and stir fries.

Also in the range are lemon, orange, apple cider, tomato, green pepper, granadilla, and various seed and blossom vinegars.

And Lynne Ford of Main Ingredient provided some recipes suggesting ways of using them:

Raspberry, lemon and chickpea dip

1 tin Chickpeas
¼ of a preserved lemon
2 Pepper Drops
1 t tahini
1 t Protea Hill Farm Balsamic Raspberry Vinegar
Salt and pepper
 
Drain the chickpeas but keep the liquid aside. Put them into a blender, add the lemon, the pepper drop pieces, the tahini and the raspberry balsamic. Add a little of the liquid and blitz. Add more of the liquid to get the right dip consistency. Then season to taste as the lemon can be quite salty. This dip is soft and sweet and lemony

Pea pod and mint soup

5 whole spring onions, chopped
25g butter
1 small butter lettuce, torn
700g young pea pods, topped
1 litre good vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon of Protea Hill Farm Mint Vinegar
Salt and pepperr
A good full handful of fresh mint
 
Melt the butter and gently fry the spring onions for 5 minutes. Add the lettuce and let it wilt for 3 minutes. Add the pea pods and the stock and simmer until they are just soft, then season and stir in the balsamic mint vinegar and the fresh mint. Using a hand blender or a liquidiser, blitz the soup till nearly smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with a sprig of mint on top.

Anchoiade Provençal anchovy dip, served it with crudités

3 cloves garlic
6 anchovies (in oil)
1 t Protea Hill Farm Balsamic Basil Vinegar
1 t brandy
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 
Pound or liquidise the garlic with the anchovies until you have a paste - moisten with the balsamic basil vinegar and brandy. Put the olive oil into a small pan and add the paste. Heat gently until the sauce comes together, then serve warm with crudités and accompanied by a chilled sauvignon blanc!

 
 

NEW SLOW FOOD CONVIVIA

 
Recently several new South African convivia have been formed: the Garden Route convivium, based in Knysna, the Free State Goldfields convivium, the Pretoria convivium, and in Cape Town, the newest, the Mother City convivium.

 
 
 

THE FIRST SOUTHERN AFRICAN PRESIDIUM PROJECT: ZULU SHEEP

 
Slow Food Presidia are local projects that work to improve the infrastructure of artisan food production. The goals of the Presidia are: to guarantee a viable future for traditional foods by stabilising production techniques; establishing stringent production standards; and promoting local consumption.

Slow Food in Italy has confirmed that the attempts at Enaleni Farm to breed and preserve the Zulu Sheep have been accepted as the first presidium project in Southern Africa. They join the list of other African presidia, which include the Harenna Forest Wild Coffee project, the Wenchi Volcano Honey and Wukro White Honey projects in Ethiopia, the Siwa Date project in Egypt, the Matured Planalto de Bologna Goats Cheese project in Cape Verde, the Andasibe Red Rice and the Mananara Vanilla projects in Madagascar. There are also presidia in Mali and Mauritania.

For nearly 2000 years, the Zulu sheep, or Izimvu, was a cornerstone of traditional pastoral practices in KZN. Crossbreeding and fragmentation of its population have put the Izimvu, related to the Swazi and Pedi breeds, on the endangered list.

These sheep evolved from the Nguni sheep kept by Iron Age people further north in Africa, and migrated to the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal 1800-2000 years ago. The sheep have since adapted to the specific conditions found in Kwazulu-Natal and were reared and bred by generations of Zulu people who eventually settled in the area.

At Enaleni Farm a small breeding flock has been established by careful selection of suitable specimens from similar ecotypes across the province. There are seven blood lines and the farm is promoting the value of these sheep within an agroecological farming system based on traditional farming practices. 

 
 

BOOK REVIEWS

 
The following books have been published recently by members or people associated with Slow Food Cape Town. They will be among the fabulous prizes to be raffled at our Spitbraai function on November 29.

Katinka van Niekerk and Brian Burke: The food and wine pairing guide
 
Some Slow members may recall a lunch at Nederburg some years ago, during which Katinka van Niekerk put us through our paces, pairing various foods with suitable wines. Now she has produced a very useful little book in which she covers the topic in a lot more detail. After an introductory section, in which she discusses the basics of pairing – weight, flavour intensity and the five primary taste sensations, and likeness and contrast, she then lists almost every imaginable dish one might eat, either at home or in a restaurant, and suggests suitable matching wines. Its small format (Platter style) fits easily into a handbag or pocket, for easy reference when eating out.

For anyone who enjoys a glass of wine with a meal (and who doesn’t?), and who is serious about bringing out the best in both the food and the accompanying wine, this is an invaluable companion. It would make the perfect Christmas present for the wine enthusiast.

Pat Featherstone: Grow for Life
 

The author is the director of Soil for Life (the recipient of the proceeds from this year’s End-of-Year function raffle). She is dedicated to helping people grow their own food sustainably and organically, and in this book she guides you through the process. After an initial chapter explaining exactly why organic is better, and why you need to start a food garden, she explains about plants and nutrients, and how to build the soil. She discusses preparation of beds, planning and planting the garden, natural fertilisers and pest control, and plant propagation, and there are chapters on earthworms and making compost. It is crammed with useful tips and ideas, including recycling rubbish into useful garden implements, and how to build ecocircles, a revolutionary space- and water-saving method of planting. The book is beautifully produced and illustrated with colour photographs.

Jos Baker: Preserving a house

In 1984, David and Jos Baker (ex Slow Head Snail) bought the 300-year-old Klein Zoar in Brooklyn, a national monument and reputedly the home of folk-hero Wolraad Woltemade. This step changed their lives, as they researched the past to restore and preserve this historic cottage. This book is the result of that research – a history of Klein Zoar, and an account of the restoration process, as well as a glimpse into the lives of the Bakers. David was a wine connoisseur, and Jos learned to share his passion – Klein Zoar boasted a magnificent wine cellar. As a food and wine lover, Jos’s research into the background of the cottage led naturally into the investigation of the eating habits of the previous occupants, and the kind of food that would have been served at Klein Zoar. There are chapters on food preparation and early cookery books, and an account of a wonderful feast at which some of these dishes were re-created. Sadly, David is no longer alive, but Jos, who always shared David’s belief that they were custodians, rather than owners, of Klein Zoar, has carried on the task of preservation. The proceeds of this book will assist towards that end.

Myrna Robins: Franschhoek Food
 

Food and wine writer Myrna Robins was one of the founder members of the Cape Town Slow Food convivium. In the last twenty-five years, Franschhoek has grown from a sleepy village into a major culinary destination, famous for its restaurants, some ranked among the best in the country, and even the world. Myrna has selected eighteen of these, ranging from haute cuisine to simple bistros and those specialising in traditional fare, and shares some of their secrets in this beautifully illustrated cookbook with a difference.

 

 

 

 

       
   
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