Saturday, June 08, 2013

7th June 2013 Main Ingredient's MENU - Bordeaux – we’re away for two weeks, Wine Concepts’ Burgundy Festival, Franschhoek Artisan Food Route, Pickled limes

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
Eat In Guide’s Five time Outstanding Outlet Award Winner
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
Egyptian geese enjoy the sunshine after last weekend’s stormy weather 
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       Bordeaux – we’re away for two weeks
*       Wine Concepts’ Burgundy Festival
*       Franschhoek Artisan Food Route
*       Pickled limes
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       Wine and Food Events
*       Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blogs, follow the link: because to tell our whole story here would take too much space and you can also read earlier blogs. Click on Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information. Follow us on Twitter: @mainingmenu
This week’s Product menu: Looking at the stock we have had to replenish this week, truffle oils are selling well as is the hot smoked Spanish paprika and the 8 year old sherry vinegar. Nielsen Massey extracts have also been moving, perhaps in anticipation of the impending price increase. We are receiving warnings from our suppliers of more price increases, mostly because of the decline in the Rand’s value against the Euro.
Buying from us on Line We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in South Africa. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our on line shop. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa. Please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you. When you make an eft payment, make sure that it says who you are. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice once we’ve made sure stock is available. Click here to see the shop. Please note: we will be away from this weekend to the 24th June, so we will not be able to process orders during that time.
Our market activities Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s wonderfully exciting, atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. We will, however not be there for two weeks after this Saturday, as we will be in France. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. It’s quite easy if you know how: Click here for a map which shows where we park. We will be back at the market in Long Beach Mall, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek tomorrow Friday, June 7th.
Bordeaux, here we come     We are finally taking a holiday. It has been six years since we were last able to go abroad and we thought that it was time. Please don’t blame us for the crash of the Rand, it is hurting us a lot, but we will be in France for the next two weeks. We will be visiting Cognac, a small island on the west coast named Dulos D’Orléron and then we will be in Bordeaux for at least a week to attend Vinexpo, one of the largest wine Expositions in the world. We intend to visit Perigord as well and some of the famous Bordeaux wine chateaux. So there will be no MENU until we return on the 24th, but then you will be able to read what we have been up to and, doubtless, there will be some stunning photographs of the trip. Don’t think for a minute that we escaping to the heat; the weather in France has been around 10 to 16 degrees up until today. We will publish a few blogs while we are there. Catch them at or follow us on Twitter, @mainingmenu
Tonight we have been at the Taste of the Helderberg Festival, held at the NH Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West and it was lovely, as always, to meet some of you there.
Wine Concepts’ Burgundy Festival     Burgundy produces two famous wines, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and, once a year, Wine Concepts holds a very special festival at the Vineyard Hotel at which they show the best wines produced in South Africa from these two varieties, plus one or two from France. 38 wineries or brands, 42 Chardonnays and 42 Pinots - it is a fabulous opportunity to taste so many at once and have the opportunity to purchase them all at a 10% discount on the night. If you missed the show, you can still buy them all through Wine Concepts.
We can’t say we loved them all, there were still a couple of over-wooded monsters in the bunch, to suit those of you who like a lot of wood, but we did find some gems and become reacquainted with wines we have loved before. The Dewetshof Chardonnays always impress and have so many variations from the fragrant perfume, limes and lemons of 2011 The Site through to the very French style tight limestone and lime 2012 Bon Vallon. Waterford Reserve Chardonnay really impressed us, as did the Creation with its lovely depth of flavours. Lynne’s’ favourite Chardonnay of the evening was David Finlayson’s Edgebaston with its layers and layers of flavour, fruit and complexity – a wine that keeps on giving. And we have made a new discovery (for us) and a farm we think needs watching and that is Journey’s End in Somerset West, who so impressed us with their two Chardonnays, both very French in style and full of salty minerality and good fruit. And, as usual, Paul Cluver has produced a winner.
Of the Pinot Noirs, Shannon stood out above the rest with their Rockview Ridge - smooth, with delicate sweet fruit and gentle touches of cherry and amaretto. David Finlayson’s Edgebaston 2012 Pinot with salty liquorice on top of raspberries is definitely one to pair with food and we loved it. And our favourite: back with a bang is the Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011, with all characteristics we so love and respect in this wine. Full of soft raspberries, strawberries and gentle wood. An elegant wine to keep and a wine to drink soon. We just wish we had had more time to taste Pinot Noirs. Click here to see the photographs.
You will definitely find us at the next Wine Concepts Festival. Watch this space and don’t forget to check out our events calendar.
Franschhoek Artisan Food Route      Franschhoek’s latest innovation to draw you to their wonderful area is to cater for the foodie in you. Now, besides exploring their wonderful wine route, superb accommodation and great restaurants, you can go and explore the other wonderful artisanal products made in the area. Early on Monday, after one of the worst storms ever in Cape Town, we drove through to Franschhoek in the rain to sample some of the route. We parked our cars at Cafe BonBon and then started on the main street at Dutch East restaurant where they have a coffee shop, The World of Coffee, a coffee roaster and a coffee expert by the name of Pasch de Plooy, who took us through the entire coffee growing process and then showed us how he roasts their coffees and the different stages. We sampled several different coffees from Nicaragua, Guatemala and their very good Bistro Blend, ate a wonderful apricot pastry and then, sadly, it was time to move on. Generously, they presented each of us with a bag of their ground Guatemala coffee. Pictures here.
Next was a visit to Sacred Ground for a bread and cake tasting. They laid on an amazing spread of their superb artisanal bread, baked by their professionally trained bakers, all of whom are from Zimbabwe. And what bread it was, absolutely sensational. The most delicious ciabatta, foccacia, olive ciabatta, sour dough, rye, seed loaf, croissants, baguette and cheese baguette. These were served with a huge collection of interesting jams, preserves and chutneys, herb and truffle butters, flavoured balsamics and some olives and tapenades that they sell. Very sweet cakes and pecan pie came next and we left nicely satisfied, bearing an olive ciabatta which cost us only R22.50. They gave us a lovely present of a really good French pastry ,which we had for breakfast the next morning as well as a chocolate brownie. See Photos here.
A few steps up the high street and we came to The Salmon Bar for a trout and salmon tasting. They had arranged for us to see three of the varieties of small fish they are farming and we heard about the different methods of smoking and preparing this luxury fish. We were then given lots of different trout and salmons prepared in all the different ways to taste and these were accompanied by a very nice glass of Morena Brut Rose bubbly which is a very good match. See photos here.
Another few steps up the road to the small but perfectly formed African Chocolate Dreams Chocolatier. Joshua Juries, the owner, is living his dream of being a high class professional Chocolatier and he showed us the entire chocolate making process and let us taste many of the raw chocolates, the melted chocolate which was warming in the conching machine and then some wonderful chocolates he had made for us. This is definitely worth a visit. We were given a present of some of these to take home and they are absolutely delicious, with something for everyone’s taste. See our photos here.
Then it was back on the bus for a visit to La Bourgogne Farm on the road between Franschhoek and Boekenhoutskloof. They produce several wines, vinified by DP Burger of Glenwood, but also do olives, olive oil and some fruit preserves from fruit they grow on the farm. We enjoyed a full wine tasting of the Blanc de Noir, three vintages of Semillon and their soft Syrah, an olive and oil tasting and then it was time for lunch across the road at Café BonBon on La Petite Dauphine Guest Farm. They very generously gave us each three bottles of their Semillon, some olives and a pear preserve. See photos here.
Café BonBon is a lovely venue, very rustic and chic, but not overdone. It would be a really lovely place for a smaller country winelands wedding and, apparently, the accommodation is really special. We had a lovely long table in the centre of the restaurant, surrounded by good art, most of it for sale, and the table was again groaning with restaurant baked breads, preserves, jams, chutney and other delights for us to try. For some of us, lunch was nearly a bridge too far and we were quite relieved to find they were not serving us a starter. We all managed a main course and some had room for a pudding. We met the young chef Tijn (Constantijn) Handek who charmed us all and we drank some wine of the area. Then suddenly it was 5 pm and time to head home. This is just a small selection of the places you could visit when next in Franschhoek. See photos here.
Should you be pressed for time, the Franschhoek Village Market on Saturdays has proven to be extremely popular and showcases many of these fine foods.
For more information on the route contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley office on 021 876 2861 or visit the website on
This week’s recipe
Seeing all these wonderful products gave Lynne an idea for this week’s recipe. If you have the time, do try making this easy preserve. It will reward you and is perfect for serving with curries and tagines. Limes are in season, so now is the time to make it.
Pickled Limes (or lemons)
500g limes or thin skinned unblemished lemons – ½ a t turmeric – 2 cups (500 ml) of water - ½ t fenugreek seeds – 1 t yellow mustard seeds – ½ a t grated fresh ginger – 1 t cayenne pepper – 2 T salt – 2 T canola oil
Scrub the whole fruit well under running warm water and then place in a pot with the turmeric. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, removing any scum that forms on the surface. Remove from the heat and drain off the limes. Leave to cool, then cut into eights and remove any pips.
Toast the other spices gently in a dry frying pan until aromatic and the mustard seeds begin to pop. Grind into a powder in a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder. Layer the lime wedges in a sterilized jar with the salt and spices, cover with the oil and seal with a sterilized lid. Leave for one month before using. Refrigerate after opening. Keeps for up to six months.

Tip. To sterilize your jars and lids: wash them well in soapy water and rinse well. Then put some boiling water in the jars and keep them in a warm oven until you are ready to use them, pouring out the water at the last minute. Keep the lids in boiling water and then when you bottle in the hot jars they should seal.
Elgin Vintners and Black Dog     A small mention of the wonderful wine tasting we had with Paul and Marilyn Wallace last night at our wine club where we tasted though a huge selection of their good wines. Of special mention is their superb spicy and sweet Shiraz, which was the universal favourite wine of the evening and their faultless minty Cabernet with lots of ripe cassis fruit - with not a hint of green stalkiness. Paul has also produced his own wine, Black Dog Malbec, and this is sure to wine some prizes in the future. It is dark inky black with superb flavours of rich black cherries, spicy rhubarb, and chocolate and liquorice. The meaty umami flavours make this the perfect wine to serve with meat or game. Contact them through their website:
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit our Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here.

Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here. Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here. Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia. Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital). Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home.  She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Wednesday evenings. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here 

7th June 2013
Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.

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