Culinary Wonders in Cacadu District
...visit the Pig ‘n' Whistle, the oldest pub in South Africa for a drink or two...
The Cacadu District awakens the senses with the sights, smells and sounds of the magnificent Eastern Cape. Among the mystery and magic of the Seven Wonders of the district lie sparkling gems of Garden Route restaurants. Small wonders in their own right, these will tantalise your taste buds and treat your senses to culinary delight.
Citrus in Addo
During October, the citrus trees in the Addo area are in full bloom, resulting in acres of orchards beautifully decorated with citrus fruit and the air filled with their fresh, refreshing smell. Kirkwood is one of the largest citrus-growing regions in the country, producing around 10 million cartons of citrus per year. Anna Potgieter, owner of Tweeling Plaaskombuis in Kirkwood, makes the most of the areas pristine conditions for citrus farming and produces jams, jellies and chutneys, all made from local produce, including various types of citrus and peppers. Her special Satsuma jam is a must have, and can be bought by the jar from the Tweeling Plaaskombuis to be enjoyed year round.
Farm style food in the Baviaans
The Baviaanskloof wilderness area is well known for its farm style foods and country lifestyle. Wherever you visit in the area, you will be greeted with home-style, heart-warming food and hospitality. Gather around the camp fire at night and toast marshmallows or enjoy a warm roosterkoek and a steaming cup of fresh coffee with friends. On your way in or out of the Baviaans, as you enter Patensie; stop over at Tolbos Country Shop and Restaurant for a cup of fresh roasted coffee and a rusk or a hearty home-style meal. This traditional roadside restaurant has become a land mark in the area which treats you to traditional South African cuisine.
Olives and Olive Oil in Grahamstown
The area around Grahamstown may once have been dominated by livestock and game farms but now it is alive with the shining silver leaves of 7000 olive trees on Craig Rippon’s olive farm. The Springvale Olive Estate cultivates and bottles olives and olive oil which is sold at farm stalls and festivals in Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred. For something a little different explore the farm, see how the oils are made and sample some of the 12 olive varieties produced by the farm on a tour and tasting event. Take some home and enjoy a special taste of the Eastern Cape every time you pop open the jar or bottle.
Seafood and Wine in Jeffreys Bay
Jeffreys Bay has a lot more to offer than just surfing and pristine beaches for tanning. The recently established Cob Creek Lifestyle Estate, overlooking the Kabeljous river, has 32 hectares of vineyards cared for by a passionate wine maker, and will be producing its first 100,000 bottles of wine in November of this year. The estate includes a tasting room where you can sample their fine wine and the Sugarbird restaurant where your favourite food can be perfectly paired with your wine. Surrounded by an endless ocean, the town has also become famous for its fishing, ensuring that the freshest fish and seafood is sold in and around the area. Try out Die Walskipper for a relaxed comfortable meal or Infood for a casual yet modern take on cuisine.
Lamb and biltong in the Karoo
It doesn’t get more authentically South African than Karoo lamb which has become much sought after by local and international chefs for its distinct taste and texture. Karoo lamb has become somewhat of a speciality throughout the country but in the Karoo, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and the variations of lamb they produce. Biltong is a staple in Karoo living, so much so that there is even a festival dedicated to it – The Somerset East Castle Lager Biltong Festival. Pioneers restaurant in Graaff-Reinet is said to make the best lamb chops in the Karoo, while you can get your biltong from almost any padstal or roadside café. Take a bit of the Karoo home with you by making a stop at one of the local butcheries before you leave.
Pineapples and history in the Sunshine Coast
Bathurst in the Sunshine Coast has become synonymous with Pineapple farming and production. In fact the area produces around 135,000 tonnes of pineapple per year. Ask any of the locals for directions to the largest pineapple in the world where you can climb to the top of the 16.7 metre structure and take in a spectacular view of the surrounding pineapple farms. Be sure to try a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice from one of the local farms before you leave. If you’re interested in taking in history a little differently, visit the Pig ‘n' Whistle, the oldest pub in South Africa for a drink or two and a delicious meal.
Spring water in Tsitsikamma
The Tsitsikamma area may be well known for its adventure and extreme sports but deep in the mountains is where its true magic lies. Tsitsikamma Crystal Spring Water is purified by nature's own process, resulting in a crisp pure water which reflects the fresh crispness of the Tsitsikamma forest air. The water from the natural springs is collected and bottled in a factory in the area. There are still, sparkling and flavoured varieties available, each made from the same clean, natural spring water. The perfect thirst quencher after an exciting day of adrenaline pumping activities, Tsitsikamma Crystal has become one of the Eastern Cape’s premier spring waters.