Some of our gourmet tour options for Cape Town and the surrounding wine region are:
- Cape Town Eats Walking Tour – from Bunny Chow to Babotie
- Artisan gourmet Cape markets Tour on a Saturday
- Cape Peninsula Tour with a long Chef’s Table lunch at The Flagship with Chef Duncan Doherty in Simons Town (NOTE the Flagship is closing down end of April 2016)
Cape Town Eats Walking Tour – from Bunny Chow to Babotie
So much about a country and a culture is expressed through its cuisine. The first thing I do when I travel is head out to taste the local dishes. In South Africa much of the cuisine is a home cuisine and to get a taste you really need to search hard! As such this tour aims to combine the history of our country and city through exploring the back streets to find the tastes that represent all of our rainbow nation.
Today we walk the streets of Cape Town and experience its history, its people and its gourmet delights. En route we stop to taste a mixture of traditional food, South African street food and visit some artisan foodie and coffee shops. This way you will enjoy a real taste of the Cape!
80% of the population of South Africa are black. Out of this grouping there are a large number of different tribes. Today we will sample some of the basics of what people eat on a daily basis. We will stop and sample some traditional black cuisine dishes – pap, samp & beans and Vetkoek. To gain more insight into typical African soul food click here.
9% of our population are categorized as “coloured/Cape Malay”. This grouping comes from our early history where we were brought slaves in mainly from Indonesia, plus a few from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar and East/West Africa. The slave population had relationships with their local Dutch East Company masters and with the indigenous Khoi Khoi population resulting in a “mixed” population of people in the Cape. These groups brought with them their knowledge of cooking with spices and as a result we in the Cape are left with a cuisine known locally as Cape Malay cuisine. Today we try the local samosas and a salome – simply a rooti wrapped with curry in the middle.
1.3% of our population are Indian. Although some Indian people came to South Africa as slaves in 1659, the majority came 150 years ago to work as indentured labour on the sugar can fields of Kwazulu Natal. Most had a 7 year contract and would then be guaranteed a passage home to India. Although some decided to stay on in Africa, many who wished to return discovered that the contractors refused to pay for the return voyage. As such Natal still has a large Indian population. Over the years the curry recipes they had brought with them ended up having a South African touch to them. One of the interesting items that remain as part of our street food culture in Natal is a take away bunny chow. A bunny chow is quite simply a loaf of bread with the insides scooped out and filled with curry. It takes away the cost of packaging! We stop for a taster of a gourmet version of the traditional Bunny Chow!
During our walk we will also taste some of the following items:
- African Soul food: pap, samp & beans and vetkoek
- A Koesister – which is a traditional Cape Malay spicy doughnut
- Boerewors – a traditional South Africa sausage traditionally cooked on a Braai (BBQ)
- A salome and a Cape samosa
- Coffee from one of the micro artisan coffee roasters in the city (we can try at a couple of them if we have coffeeholics on tour!)
- Artisan Chocolate made from pure unroasted cocoa beans and combined only with sugar – suitable for vegans!
- Babotie pies – this is a modern take on our traditional Babotie dish which both our Cape Malay group and our white Afrikaner group refer to as their traditional dish
- Milk Tart – traditionally Cape Malay and Afrikaans in its heritage
- Gourmet Bunny chows!
- Visit Atlas Spices – the main spice shop where the Cape Malay community shop. Here you will have the opportunity to buy spices and to taste Meebos – a local sweet made from dried apricots.
To experience the tour – check out this video – that was recently shot by one of our clients on tour – John Heagney from Florida. It is an amazing video that showcases our wonderful city.
Cape Gourmet Markets Tour – Saturdays only
There seems to have been an explosion of markets opening in Cape Town. In my opinion the two that are still the best for us “foodies” are the original “foodie” market called The Biscuit Mill and the artisanal city farm market called the Oranjezicht Farm Market. Both markets combine the opportunity to shop for fresh produce, to taste all sorts of products from local cheese through to Biltong (our version of beef jerkey), through to sauces, chutneys, breads……….etc etc. These markets have turned into social hubs where everyone meets their friends to come and try a variety of dishes while they socialize – there is everything from oysters and champagne, through to Dim Sum, rostis with salmon, artisenal beer makers, cocktail makers……….so whatever you do come hungry! Today the tour takes in both the Biscuit Mill Market in Woodstock as well as the Oranjezicht City Farm market. This is a half day tour and pick up is strictly at 08h30. The reason for this is that the Biscuit Mill Market gets very very busy if you get there after 9am!
Timing: 08h30 to approximately 13h30 on a Saturday (note that it makes sense to book this for as a full day and to do some wine tasting in the afternoon in Constantia)