Veldkos Foraging at Oep ve Koep in Paternoster

October 11, 2011

News, Past Events

At the end of August, a small group of Slow Food Mother City members and enthusiasts travelled out to Paternoster for our Veldkos Forage and Lunch at Oep ve Koep.

It was a perfect, sunny day, and we all had a wonderful time.  We’ve posted new photos in our gallery – have a look!

And, the following are excerpts taken from two bloggers who came along with us and wrote about their experiences:

Food and the Fabulous – www.foodandthefabulous.com

A few Sundays ago, on the 28th of August, we headed off to Paternoster, a sleepy fishing village on the Cape West Coast just under two hours outside Cape Town to join Slow Food Mother City on a food forage in the local nature reserve in TietiesBaai (yes, you read the name correctly.)

What is Food Foraging?

Searching for wild plants, indigenous to an area for consumption, is as old as mankind. In the last decade, there has been a conscious reactivation of interest in foraging from dedicated foargers, freegans, chefs and curious individuals (like myself).

The closest I’ve come to foraging (apart from hopping from one stall holder to the next at some of the world’s loveliest farmer’s markets) is picking herbs and chilies from our garden. Though there were the times we picked mulberries and unripe guavas (worst tummy ache known to man) along the roadside walking home from school….

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Rupert, a botanist and friend of Kobus van der Merwe (Chef at Oep ve Koep, a family run business) guided us, a group of 20 through a small section of the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, mere minutes out of the village. The reserve is unusual in that it is flanked by coastline, dotted with coves and covered in fynbos, succulents and wild flowers in season…

Oep Ve Koep

Kobus looks much younger than I expected and runs through the menu in his gentle, soft spoken manner, his eyes beaming as he brings out plates of food starkly in contrast with the modest surroundings. We start with bokkum (salted, dried fish) butter and a pickled waterblommetjie followed by a calamari bobotie (egg custard savoury crustless pie) with soutslaai. The main of sandveld potato dumplings, dune spinach, veldkool, soy butter, porcini and nasturtium is my favourite dish of the lunch.

Read more, and view Ishay’s fantastic photos here.

Cape Town By Mouth – www.capetownbymouth.com

Veldkos Ramble and Lunch at Oep ve Koep

Last weekend was just perfect. Sunshine, culinary treats and a trip to Paternoster, a foodie fishing village on the west coast. If you have read some of my blogposts you may already know that I love to forage (read about mushrooms here). Foraging is something that we grow up doing in Finland and it has even become somewhat of a trend spearheaded by Rene Redzepi from Noma in Copenhagen. I have hardly been able to contain myself since I first heard about Slowfood’s Veldkos ramble. The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest yet richest in the world and I have been dying to learn about local wild food.

20 slowfoodies pitched up at 11am on Sunday morning at Oep ve Koep in Paternoster and headed out to the veld with the enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very entertaining Rupert from Cape Nature.

We learned to identify sout slaai and veldkool (salty salad and field cabbage) as well as a prickly relative of asparagus that I can’t remember the name of (my brain switches off when plants are not highly tasty). Rupert also helped me identify sorrel. I have been happily eating it in Finland before (we call it fox bread) and some wild food enthusiasts use it in salads. Sorrel has crept into my salad pots uninvited in Cape Town and I have ignored it unsure of its edibility. I shall make sure it feels welcome from now on.

Lunch at Oep ve koep was an absolute treat. Kobus van de Merwe uses a lot of wild herbs and plants in his cooking. We started with bokkom butter and bread and a lightly pickled waterblommetjie. So pleased to see waterblommetjies outside of stews. These treats were followed by calamari bobotie, which was complemented by seaweed. Our palates were cleansed with pickled onion and salvia (sage related herb) soup poured from an enamel teapot. The main course was a highlight: potato dumplings with field cabbage and some dune spinach. Oep ve Koep is well worth a visit. Kobuses beautiful yet down to earth cooking is served in a cozy courtyard with missmatched tables and rambling herb bushes. His Sardines on Toast blog will have you salivating and planning a trip to Paternoster.

Read more, and view Marianna’s lovely photos here.

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