the good food and wine show offers a few organic gems

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-05-14 15:19

This weekend the Good Food and Wine festival is happening at the CTICC. I went along to discover how much sway the local and organic movement has over food in our country at festivals such as this one.

South Africa has many hidden food gems that are scattered throughout the country and you sometimes have to be in the know and other times you may just stumble across some great produce. Now let’s face it, festivals such as this one are aimed at the well heeled and if you can tear yourself away from the celebrity chefs, there are several stalls featuring organic or eco-friendly foodstuffs.

Green Home, which happens to be supplying the BBC Lifestyle demonstration kitchen, manufacture 100% biodegradable food containers. Their products range from plates, cups, bowls, knives and forks to bags, coffee stirrers, serviettes and toilet paper. Their eco friendly toilet paper is unbleached and Green Home’s James Davis says it is currently in use at Oliver Thambo International airport.

Most of their products are made from sugar cane waste fibre (bagasse), wood cellulose, corn starch, recycled unbleached paper etc. After use their packaging can be placed in compost bins and will completely biodegrade into compost, creating a cradle to cradle effect. According to Davis most of their bagasse is currently imported but they have manufacturing plants in Johannesburg and are looking to acquire local bagasse.

Green Home uses Polylactic Acid (PLA) and a heat resistant derivative, CPLA, to make its bioplastic cutlery. PLA is basically derived from corn. PLA is made from lactic acid, which is made from dextrose by fermentation. Corn starch or sugarcane is the common feedstock.

The company also does printing with soy and water based inks.

The Stellenbosch (and Willowbridge) Slow Food Market has created a special market for the show where there are many delectable goodies on offer. And Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay is purported to be doing his shopping here.

Another interesting find was Yumm bowls. These are edible serving bowls, which are great to use when entertaining, and especially for picnics. They are made out of wheat and bran and are vegan. They can hold liquid for up to 45 minutes even though they are made out of biscuit. With these you can have your bowl and eat it too!

Another great initiative that I came across that was well worth supporting was the Khayelitsha Cookies. This is a group of 14 women bakers who were previously unemployed. Three of the bakers are hearing impaired. These women have been trained in baking, packing, labeling and customer service. Their delicious cookies are well worth a nibble.

Another great stand was Die Backstube, who are based in Okavango Park towards Brackenfell. They were promoting their range of artisan breads. Using stone ground flour, hand harvested sea salt and their sourdough cultures. Their breads are 100% additive free and a real treat.

There were of course loads of wines and more olive oil than you know what to do with, with a range in flavour that would put symphonies to shame. One stall that I was most impressed with was the LaHarna farm stall with their range of organic olives, herbs, baby peppers and sun dried tomatoes.

In Our Greenhouse had a stall which was selling some delicious olives, as well as dried pomegranates that would be delicious in a salad.

A real surprise I discovered was called Sunspread, by Sunprotech. This is a peanut butter alternative for those who are allergic to peanut butter. It does taste remarkably like peanut butter - if you are looking for an alternative to peanut butter then this might be for you.

Well, I could go on about food all day! There were many tantalizing sweet treats that were sampled, or resisted with power of will.

The Good Food and Wine Festival is at the CTICC till Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm. Entrance is R 80.

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