Ingredients: organic coriander, organic turmeric, organic fenugreek, organic cardamom, organic cumin, organic cinnamon, organic black pepper, organic curry leaves, organic clove, organic fennel, organic brown mustard, organic cayenne, organic ginger
Cape Town is the culinary capital of South Africa, and its food is often described as a 'rainbow' cuisine influenced by Dutch, English, Javanese and Indian settlers. Traditional food and cuisine in Cape Town is best known as Cape Dutch or Cape Malay style cooking. The traditional cuisine in South Africa was influenced by the cooking styles of the slaves that were brought to the Cape from Malaysia and Java.
Cape Town is Africa's answer to New York or London, with the added features of a warm climate and some of the world's finest winelands. South African cuisine is thus a true melting pot of different cooking styles and combines the best of the food traditions worldwide. South African cooking mainly consists of chicken, game, tomatoes, lemons, limes, corn (in the form of breads and flour), beans and spices. The dominant spices in this region are chile, curry, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.
Cape Malay cuisine is a bit of an oddity and stands apart from other South African cuisines, as the history of the region has been greatly influenced by the fierce clashes between European settlers and the indigenous Africans. The Cape Malay community can be traced to the Indonesian slaves and various religious dissidents brought to the area by early Dutch settlers. Despite the rest of South Africa being predominantly Christian, the Malay community has maintained a strong Islamic identity.
Cape Town's curries are milder and sweeter than Indonesian curries. “Sosaties”, pronounced “so saw tee”, are a fusion of Indonesian satay (skewed meat) and Dutch sauce (used as a marinade). The Dutch are also credited with introducing "bobotie", pronounce “boo boo tee”, which was eventually embraced by their Indonesian slaves, and brings to mind a spicy moussaka (a dish popular in the Balkans and the Middle East). Bobotie is made from a curried, ground meat base and topped with an eggy sauce that when baked forms a delightful crust.
The wine culture on the cape dates back to 1659, when the colony's founder produced the first wine. In 1688, the Huguenots (religious refugees from France) began arriving, and several of them were excellent farmers and wine makers. As they settled inland around Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch they slowly established a wine making infrastructure. Today, South Africa is the world's 7th largest producer of wine with well-known versions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, plus a uniquely South African cultivar used to create Pinotage (a hybrid between Pinot Noir and Cinsault) leading the way.
By the 1680s, German farmers began arriving in the region and they soon became the third largest European ex-pats in the area (behind the Dutch and the French Huguenots).
Also known as 'The Mother City', Cape Town is the largest city in the Western Cape Province and today is the legislative capital of South Africa and a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, vineyards, majestic landscapes and limitless ocean.
The emergence of the town was a result of the strategic location of the Cape on the trade route between Europe and Asia. Consequently, people from various parts of Europe and Asia landed at the Cape either by choice or by force, which was mostly slaves, political dissidents and Muslim religious leaders all from Javanese (modern day Indonesia). The fusion of cultures that exists in modern day Cape Town reflects the history of people from various regions of the world, and other parts of South Africa, who forged its existence.
An indigenous community had lived on the Cape Peninsula and Western Cape long before the beginning of the Christian era, surviving by hunting, fishing and gathering edible plants and roots. These original inhabitants are ancestors of the Khoisan peoples of modern times - the foraging San (aka Bushmen) and the Khoikhoi (previously known as Hottentots).
There was no European documented history of the area until 1487, when the Portuguese sailor Bartholomeus Dias began his voyage to find a sea route to the East. Sailing along the west coast of Africa his ships encountered a vicious storm, and when it wouldn’t subside they sailed away from the coast and into open waters. As the storm passed they continued their journey eastward, expecting to pick up the coast. After days without sight of land they changed direction and headed north where they soon landed at the mouth of the Gouritz River on the east coast of South Africa in early 1488. At the time they did not understand the significance of what they had just achieved but they were the first Europeans to sail around the Cape of Africa.
As sea trade picked up between Europe and the east, the cape remained untouched never reaping any of the benefits of burgeoning trade route passing along its shores. These early voyages were always in a hurry to either reach the lands of the east or eager to get back to Europe to profit from their journey.
The 1600s were the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic and the Dutch East India Company was the world's greatest trading corporation and had sovereign rights in the East and the Cape of Good Hope, and by middle of the century they were considered the European maritime power in Southeast Asia.
In 1652 the Dutch East India Company decided to establish a post at Table Bay (a natural bay on the Atlantic Ocean overlooked by Cape Town). The company’s goal was to establish a replenishment station where ships could dock for fresh food for the crews and any needed repairs for the ships. Under the command of 23-year-old Jan Antony van Riebeeck they built their first fort, which was subsequently replaced by the existing Castle of Good Hope (Cape Town's first building).
The Company discovered it was easier to bring in thousands of Javanese slaves to work in the fields instead of trying to enlist the native people (mostly Khoi and San), who wanted nothing to do with the Dutch and their ways. The Malay slaves brought their cuisine, perhaps the best-known of all South African cooking styles.
In 1769 Simon van der Stel, arrived as Governor and he turned the region into rich farmland, planting more than 8,000 trees and firmly establishing vineyards that would produce wines that earned the praise of such wine connoisseurs as the King of France. The Dutch East India Company’s power peaked around this time and then began a steady decline as the English and French increased competition in the eastern markets.
The small settlement in Table Valley slowly started picking up the characteristics of a town and in the last quarter of the eighteenth century it became known as Cape Town. In the 1860s the British established sugar plantations in South Africa and they in turn brought indentured laborers from India to cut the cane. Today the famous “rainbow” reference -- applies not only to the people but to the food, as the city has one of the most extraordinarily diverse range of cuisines found anywhere in the world.
Cape Malay curries are usually served with rice and sambals or rice and chutney. The curries may be hot, medium or mild in the heat. The secret to an authentic Cape Town Malay style curry is to balance the heat of the curry with the sweetness of fruit. The most common fruit used includes apricot (both dried apricots and apricot jam), mango chutney and tamarind.
Our Cape Town Curry has an earthy flavor with some floral sweetness and a tiny bit of heat.
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Farmers maintain a written organic management plan.
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