Cape Town looks good enough to eat. The Mother City is surrounded by landscapes like so many flavours of ice cream in luscious layers held together by chunky bars of mountains.
Those mountains would surely taste chocolatey and hazelnutty, perfectly complementing those layers of pistachio, lavender and toffee ice cream. Oh the pristine and the praline, the gorgeousness of it all topped temptingly with those full fat, extra creamy clouds with their many meringue-like peaks.
And then there is the icey, salty ocean lapping gently at the biscuity, bubbly shores in all directions … Hmmmm did I mention the abundance of brilliant local bubblies to wash it all down.
What better way to lap up some of it than to spend part of a morning foraging in the rock pools when the tide is out, and transforming your harvest of shellfish and seaweed into a delicious feast.
This incredibly tasty Summer treat is served up by Veld and Sea, an experiential business that tracks the edible landscape, on the beach at Scarborough and at the Good Hope Gardens Nursery in Cape Point a couple of times a month.
In Autumn and Winter, Veld and Sea focuses on the wild flavours to be found on the land. In Springtime the focus is on flowers.
The whole gig is organic, local and sustainable, and the calendar is set by that luscious and luminescent lady of the night who is also in charge of the tides. We did the New Moon experience.
The foraging and the food preparation are all done under the guidance of various nature-loving culinary and botanical experts.
This was my first experience of foraging but I will certainly be sinking my teeth into other parts of the world around me soon with one of Veld and Sea’s various other events and workshops, which are all centred around the idea of knowing, understanding and protecting the natural world around us.
At first, I thought R700 for the experience was a bit pricey; now I know it is cheap as chips.
The feast was enormous, incredibly varied and lip-smackingly delicious. The mussel pot, which was always going to be a star of the show, delivered a perfect bull’s eye. In fact, at least two of us felt totally defenceless against the temptation to lick our plates clean.
The nori chips, with a misting of olive oil and a dusting of paprika, and the sushi and the seaweed salads delivered much surprise and more delight, the variety of textures competing with the flavours (umami and so much more).
It was also a wonderfully informative experience. Most of the day’s lessons were delivered in bite-sized morsels by the super-friendly (and young and gorgeous) team of experts.
They spent the day foraging, cooking and feasting with us, friendly and attentive as they shared their knowledge with a crowd largely from other ‘generations’, mostly those usually accused of screwing things up for this one.
What a luxury to have a ratio of one expert to maximum four participants.
An experience that over-delivered in every department.
What a delicious addition to life in a city that can really make you feel raw and wild. Take your shoes off, sink into the sand, slip on the rocks (I did … of course) and lap up your surroundings.
Various other workshops and events run by Veld and Sea founder Roushanna Gray and her team of merry mermaids and mermen, include: Wild Beauty, Fermentation, Wildcrafting, Botanical Art, Botanical Cocktails, Mushroom Foraging, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Embroidery. More info: https://veldandsea.com/