It is not just about knowing where your meat and vegetables come from it is knowing everything about your food. For example, have you ever thought of where your salt comes from?
I’ve discovered some amazing local suppliers with great food stories and I’d love to introduce you to a few desert salt from the Kalahari.
Oryx Desert Salt is a natural, crystal-white salt – unrefined, sun-dried, and free from additives and preservatives. This salt contains the essential, natural minerals and trace elements, in the correct balance, for your body to absorb and utilise for optimal functioning, vitality and health. It is harvested in a sustainable manner from a remote and pristine area of the vast Kalahari Desert in South Africa. Here, salt water from an ancient underground lake, fed by subterranean streams, is laid to rest on a pan, sun-dried and harvested. Oryx Desert Salt is committed to supplying an ethically harvested, sustainable and renewable desert salt that has an exceptional taste, and enriches the flavour of your food. Meet Samantha Skyrin. This lady has worked so extremely hard and it is visible in her product. Her fine ORUX salt is in all the fine restaurants in South Africa. I actually carry my own, small personal salt cellar in my handbag . Because all food should include ORYX salt.
Flour – The wheat milled at Champagne Valley Stonemill is grown in the foothills of the Drakensberg by the Solms and Sclanders families. They believe in only growing a crop that would be good enough for their own families and customers. Their wheat is grown using environmentally conscious modern farming methods that conserve moisture and natural organic material in the soil and is completely GMO free. Strict monitoring during the growth of the crop ensures that only the best and healthiest wheat is produced for the Mill. There is no need to bleach or include any additives to improve the flour. Making contact with David Du Plessis from Champagne Valley Stonemill has been an absolute pleasure. A person who goes out of his way to help every baker he can. Suggestions are always given and different options offered. The fabulous thing is that the flour is tested in “their” own bakery – VALLERY BAKERY, for years now. I love how they always willing to research and find a flour/product best suited for the final product. And what’s better is that we can drive a few kilometres into the Champagne Valley and actually go and see the mill and farms. This is truly unique for my students to be able see the entire process.
Olive oil – This award winning estate, is situated in the Scherpenheuwel valley between Worcester and Robertson on the southern banks of the Breede River. Owned by Nick and Brenda Wilkinson, it comprises olive orchards, vines, an olive specific nursery and a state of the art OLIOMIO olive processing and bottling plant. The terroir, with water on demand from the Breede River and Brandvlei Irrigation System, is perfect for olive growing with high sunshine hours, cold winters and minimal disease. Summer daytime temperatures can be high but the afternoon south easterly breezes from Cape Agulhas, the “wind doctor” in local parlance, brings relief and cool nights. Add superior Italian cultivars, state of the art processing facilities, ideal storage facilities and owner driven passion to continually strive for better and you have a winning recipe.
Attention to detail is not negotiable and the competitive spirit to compete with the best of the best is there everyday.Have one conversation with Brenda Wilkinson and this will be a product you will never not have in your kitchen cupboard. What an enthusiastic, passionate and inspiring beautiful lady who has been extremely supportive of my little business. Just do an olive oil, very quick taste comparison-it is very clear which is best.