And when you’ve gone that far, well, it’s not that much of a leap to find the little Christmas trees, sleighs, snowmen and, erm, penguins that help to make the finished product the truly kitsch thing a classic Christmas cake should be.
Fynbos gin is a speck of southern Cape antiquity in a glass. Add it to a homemade syrup and fruit to make a sorbet, and you have in that sweet temptress of a dessert or palate-cleanser a tiny homage to hundreds of generations of humankind and the terrain they roamed, lived on and fed from as long as 100 000 years ago.
We often tend to take the basic ingredients of what we imagine to be an ethnic cuisine, give it a label and add it to our repertoire.Tomatoes, garlic, oregano? Italian. Same trio but add lemon? Greek. Take away the lemon and replace it with anchovy? Provencal.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after decades of research and years of trials, the manufacturers of whites, blacks, coloureds, coconuts, Indians, plurals, tricamerals, old-style liberals, diehard Nats, Oranians, black diamonds — basically of anyone you know or have ever known — have invented a whole new race which, with immediate effect, replaces all races that have gone before, rendering them null and void.
Should anybody under 25 be reading this, here is the lesson you should of been taught at school, using the title’ve a famous song from My Fair Lady, which as you know came out a year or so before that other great musical, The Sound Have Music.
Pork is the chicken of red meat. Like a blank canvass waiting only for the masterly ministrations of an adept chef, it shares with chicken that ability to take on all manner of flavours, from lemon, fresh herbs, honey or mustard to eastern ingredients from soy to rice wine, star anise to cardamom.
We traversed the entire country, and always the night stop, my sister and I each in our own hotel bedrooms, hearing the dinner gong as a man in a uniform wandered up and down the corridors tinkling a xylophone. I’d have to wear a white shirt, tie and jacket and we’d go down for the first sitting, soup – consommé, cream of tomato or celery – then poached fish with sauce, and more ofen than not roast leg of lamb or beef with three veg and gravy.
It was a “safari” because there were four young winemakers, each of whom had brought along a wine to show off, tell us about and share with us, all the while being matched to a particular dish by executive chef Roland Gorgosilich and his highly skilled team. In effect, we all stayed put at our tables, while four winemakers moved from table to table with each course.