FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

2010 SLOW TERRA MADRE/
SALONE DEL GUSTO

     
SLOW FOOD RAFFLE:
LIST OF PRIZES
  BOOK REVIEW
     
RECENT EVENTS    
     

 

 

ED'S NOTES

We were shocked and saddened to hear the news of the death by drowning of Liam De Willers, the three-and-a-half year-old son of Charné le Roux, who is a member of our committee. Members of the Slow committee attended the memorial service held at the Deer Park Café, and on behalf of Slow Food Cape Town we have donated an olive tree to the Goedgedacht Trust in his name. Our deepest sympathy to Charné, Lance and the girls.

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

Sunday 28 November:
End of year spit braai
at the home of Stephen and Pat Flesch.
There will be a raffle, with the proceeds to go to Goedgedacht, with some fabulous prizes, so don’t forget to bring you wallets.
There are still places available for the lunch, and the cost, including wine, will be R150 each to members and their guests. There will be no charge for children under 12.
To book your places, please deposit payment into the Cape Town Slow Food account (details below). Please do not deposit cash. When making payment please put your name as a reference on the deposit slip or EFT payment. Please send a message to Lorna van Besouw to confirm your payment and booking with vbesouw@iafrica.com. 
Please let Lorna know the number of members and guests attending the lunch, with the names of your guests.
If you are not attending the lunch, but would like to buy raffle tickets or make a donation (R40 each or R100 for three) please deposit payment into Cape Town Slow Food account (details below). When doing this please put your name as a reference on the deposit slip.

Bank details:
Cape Town Slow Food
Bank: FNB, Grassy Park
Branch code:  203109
Account number: 62023929378


 

SLOW FOOD RAFFLE: LIST OF PRIZES

Goedgedacht Trust: 6 bottles Goedgedacht olive oil
 
Nice Ice Cream: One ‘PRIZE’ coupon will be supplied for 2 X 600ml ice creams, sorbets or yoghurt ice (WINNER CHOOSES FLAVOUR). These can be collected at The Nice Company, Westlake Park
 
Leo Foods: The Luxury Gift Box , containing a special selection of indulgent Italian confectionery treats from Leo Foods and their flagship store, Emporio Leone
 
Live Italy Tours: Luxury food hamper filled with Italian traditional delicacies and wine
 
Charné le Roux: Gift hamper of products from her Green Spa
 
Random House Struik: Three cookbooks, reviewed in our newsletters:
Justice Kamanga: Tastes of Africa
Sonia Cabano: easy, simple and delicious
Zainab Lagardien: Sugar & Spice
 
Silwood Kitchen: Gift voucher for a cake
 
Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek: R400 gift voucher for their new restaurant The Common Room
 
Reubens Restaurant, Franschhoek: R350 gift voucher.
 
Pierneef Restaurant at La Motte, Franschhoek: R700 gift voucher.
 
Grand Roche Hotel (5 star hotel), Paarl: Complimentary stay for one night including breakfast (value R3025).
 
Totally Wild: Gift Hamper of their products (value approximately R250). There will also be samples of their products for us to try on the day.
 
Pat Flesch: Goedgedacht wonderbox (hotbox) cooker.

 

RECENT EVENTS

 

LUNCH AT OEP VE EET RESTAURANT AT PATERNOSTER 30 October, 2010
Wilna Meanley gives us her account of the experience
 
This meal was far more than just a different kind of menu: it was about innovation and attention to detail, taking ordinary local produce to gourmet level, with presentation in the best tradition of creating anticipation.

 

Access to the garden restaurant is through the "packed-to-the-rafters" shop Oep ve Koep run by Sanita van der Merwe - a clever transfer from busy interior to bright and breezy exterior, with white-draped tables set at random on the varying levels.

In the top corner an old local fishing boat has been brought to anchor to hold a lush herb garden. The cool theme continued with white-on-white service, tasteful dishes arriving in suitable succession. Lapping it all up made me really appreciate the large linen napkin.

   
What did this enterprising young Kobus van der Merwe serve us? To whet the appetite, a salad of papaya squares with a cluster of delicate pickled baby onion, fennel and coriander, topped with fennel granita. Followed by "Klipkombers" and jerepiko jelly with sea lettuce on the side. "Klipkombers", we learned, is a seaweed that grows over the rocks and becomes dry - much like Nori, Kobus explains. This dish was in the style of el Bulli and equally impressive.
 
When I saw bokkoms on the menu, I thought oh dear, but this dish was a delightful discovery maasbanker bokkoms (more succulent than harders) finely flaked and mixed with sea-water (yes!) -poached linguine, chilli, garlic, lemon and thyme. On the side: distilled Bekbaai sea water - surprisingly refreshing.
 
Plump West Coast mussels, subtly curried in the Cape Malay style, served with Boere Naan and sambals. The Boere Naan being bread dough pulled to naan shape, buttered and grilled - quite delicious. And the sambals? Thin, thin marinated onion shavings, tiny cubes of winter melon with a whiff of mint.
 
Now for the treats: peach and rosemary tarte tatin, followed by Paternoster ricotta (made by Kobus from milk delivered from nearby), a gorgeous slice of poached quince and smoke. Smoke? A tightly closed and warmed jar with a layer of tea-leaves from which, upon opening, a delicate perfumed smoke arises to flavour the ricotta. We end the meal with a wicked dish - coffee custard (rich and unctuous) in a small enamel mug, with a helping of date and coffee jam (rich and unctuous) in a spoon on the side. Local is Lekker was never more true!

 
 

2010 SLOW TERRA MADRE/SALONE DEL GUSTO

Stephen Flesch represented Slow Food Cape Town at the recent Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto gathering in Turin. These are his impressions:
 
Thursday 21 October
Arriving at Turin Airport I find the Slow Food Reception desk where three young volunteers explain that we will wait for more people to arrive before taking a bus to the exhibition venue. The crowd gradually grows and I chat to the head of a Hospitality School in Macau, who is there with two of his Chinese students. We are joined by two Belgian chefs and a New Zealand cheese maker.
 


   
Slow Reception


   
Olympic Skating Stadium

Eventually the bus departs with a polyglot crowd. The show and conference venue is about 3 km south of the city centre, at Lingotto. However we go first to the Olympic stadium, built as the skating venue for the 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin. There is a South African desk where we register and are given a pass and welcome pack with detailed instructions. It is hours to the opening ceremony so I leave my luggage in the Luggage Deposit area (staffed by volunteers) and take the free shuttle bus to the Lingotto venue about three km away.
 
The Salone del Gusto (Salon of Taste) consists of three large halls. The two largest have supplier stalls from all over Italy, arranged by region. The third and slightly smaller hall is for the International exhibition and I spend the afternoon sampling some of their offerings.
 
First stop is coffee – grown in the Huehuetenango highlands of Guatemala. The raw beans are imported into Italy and then roasted in prison in the first Slow Praesidium to be set up. The prisoners are trained in coffee processing (and paid) which helps them find employment – with a useful skill - upon release. It is delicious (€1-00).
 
Next is an oyster stall with samples from Bouzigues near Sete in southern France. Two of these make a good start to my lunch tour (€2-50). Further along there is an offering of a traditional Spanish omelette made with just potatoes, eggs and salt. I have a slice (€3-00) and then find an Irish stall. Two versions of smoked salmon are offered, one cold smoked and one warm smoked. They are both farmed organically, the catching of wild salmon having been banned in 2007 to allow the stocks to recover from over-fishing. There is the brewer of O’Hara’s - a micro-brewery in south Ireland and he assures me that his stout and smoked salmon are a “Match made in Heaven”. The stout has a full rich flavor. The cold smoked salmon is delicate whereas the hot smoked version is more robust, drier and more smoky. Re-tasting the stout after the salmon it is lighter and more delicate – as a result of the salt in the fish.
 


   
Coffee


   
Irish Salmon

The shuttle takes me back to the Olympic Stadium where the Opening Ceremony starts at 19h00. Five thousand (5000) Delegates, guests and observers are seated. Most of the proceedings and speeches are in Italian and we are equipped with headsets with simultaneous translation into eight languages. We are welcomed and then treated to a variety of dance and music from all over the world. 130 countries are now part of the Slow Family.
 
During the ceremony, a representative of each country marches in, bearing their flag to great applause. About 60 coaches wait outside to take the crowd to their various destinations. The thirty-plus South Africans board No. 30 and we drive to the town of Asti about 50km to the Southeast. The coach is met by a fleet of cars and we get distributed to the homes of the families who have volunteered to accommodate us.
 
I am paired with Pieter Koopman, head of the Rooibos Tee Koop at Niewoudtville, and we are taken to the home of a retired couple, Pepe and Maria Gionoglio, in the countryside just outside Asti. We are told to be at the bus pickup point at 07h45 next morning.
 


   
Pepe and Maria Gionoglio


   
Slow Canteen

Friday 22 October
Next day we get to the Lingotto venue at about 09h00 and have the morning to explore the Salone del Gusto before the first Terra Madre presentation; “Who’s Stealing Africa’s Land”.
We learn that millions of hectares of Africa have been sold or given to many others, mainly Chinese, South Korean, Arab and European companies and governments. The peoples of Africa have thus lost vast amounts of arable land, depriving them of the opportunity of growing crops. The total area lost is 42m hectares - the size of Spain.
 
Some of the facts we are made aware of:
• In Africa, flowers are being grown for export, thus depriving locals of land for food production.
• China’s growing affluence leads to more demand for meat, which reduces the area for cereal
   cultivation.
• The South Korean company Daewoo has spent many millions buying African land.
 
After the presentation, attendees queue for lunch in the canteen. An efficient organisation feeds thousands in a large tent next to the venue. There is penne pasta, rice, bread and an assortment of salads, meats, cheese and fruit as well as fruit juice and bottled water. This is served on recyclable plates and cutlery. I criticise the serving of bottled water and am told that Italians have a cultural expectation to drink bottled water – and the bottles and caps are recycled.
 
After lunch we are free to attend other presentations on a variety of subjects or to explore the halls of produce in the Salone, which is my choice. As wine is my interest, I tasted a red Aglianico which is a Sicilian variety. Staying in Sicily, I tried three virgin olive oils from Palermo. One was Noccellera which is grown at Morgenster in Somerset West, but the other two were unknown to me. There are apparently over 600 varieties of olives in Italy. I also tasted three wines from the La Parrena Estate in Southern Tuscany which were very good.
 
Saturday 23 October
Important for the attendees from South Africa is a meeting of all of us. We introduce ourselves. Some of the organisations in South Africa I learn about are The Selfless People Project; The Church Agricultural Project in KZN; Youth Agricultural Ambassadors; and Food and Trees for Africa, represented by Joe Mathimba. There are already over 1000 schools in South Africa with school gardens, and the aim is to expand this to 10 000 in the next few years. The international Slow Food family has many aspects and this is mirrored in South Africa. We then discuss the formation of a South African Slow organisation. Some delegates felt that a loose contact was more appropriate at this stage than the creation of a more formal body. There are now seven Convivia in South Africa so the time may soon be ripe for a linking organisation. Derek Naidoo of the Itelewini Municipality is very active in supporting the Slow principles in KwaZulu Natal and he told me after the meeting that he was in favour of an SA body and was prepared to run it using the resources of his municipality.
 
Sunday 24 October
I took the morning off to go into Turin to Mass. On the way back to the Salone venue, there was a big crush on the bus and I was pickpocketed, losing my wallet, €80 in cash and all my bank and credit cards.
 
In the afternoon I tasted more wines and explored the many stalls of the Salone further.
 
The Terra Madre closing ceremony took place at 19h30 and we were given a presentation of a new Slow document soon to be published which will set out the aims and philosophy of Slow Food.
 
Monday 25 October
Although Terra Madre had closed, the Salone del Gusto and taste workshops continued. I attended two of these workshops which were very interesting. The first was about the pros and cons of wine additives which was right up my street. The one-and-a-half hours were far too short to cover the subject properly. It could easily have been expanded to a full day seminar.

In the afternoon, I was very fortunate to attend the closing taste workshop which was of Champagne and Culatelli. Four excellent French champagnes were presented and these were paired with a tasting of three Culatelli. This is a top-end luxury ham prepared in very limited quantities with great care and love. Firstly the pigs are reared – cosseted would be a better word – for maximum meat quality.
 


   
                              Culatelli

Then the hams are massaged with a mixture of crushed garlic and pepper before being salted lightly – about 40g of salt per kilogram of meat. The aim of the low quantity of salt is to prevent the meat from “rotting’ but not enough to make it salty. The legs are then air-dried very carefully in non-air-conditioned storerooms and the art of doing this is the ability to judge just when to open and close the windows to maintain the correct temperature and humidity. The result is fabulous – a pink to rosy meat veined with white fat with a pronounced perfume and sweet taste. The accompanying Champagnes were all of a very high quality but different in character. They were a very good match with the hams.                        

This was a magnificent experience, and for me the highlight of the five days. I returned home marvelling at the passion of the thousands of attendees and the wide diversity of Slow Food activities and projects in the 160 countries where Slow is represented.

 

BOOK REVIEW

 

Zainab Lagardien: SUGAR & SPICE

Random House Struik
  

The author, an octogenarian, is one of the doyennes of Cape Malay cuisine, having cooked in well-known Cape kitchens and catered for many large functions within the Malay community. She is the author of Traditional Cape Malay Cooking.

   

In her latest book, she showcases traditional Cape Malay sweet recipes, and many of her own invention. Besides recipes for biscuits, cakes, pastries, and puddings she covers breads, koeksusters, doughnuts, konfyts and jams. The recipes are straightforward and practical, and accompanied by mouthwatering colour photographs.

 

 

 

 

       
   
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