Foraging and feasting

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Take your shoes off, sink into the sand, and lap up your surroundings on a Veld and Sea foraging expedition.
Siobhan Cassidy

Cape Town looks good enough to eat. Landscapes surround the Mother City like flavours of ice cream in luscious layers held together by chunky bars of mountains.

Those mountains would surely taste like chocolate and hazelnut, perfectly complementing those layers of pistachio, lavender and toffee ice cream. Oh, the pristine and the praline, the gorgeousness of it all topped with those full-fat, creamy clouds with their meringue-like peaks.  And then there is the icy, salty ocean lapping at the biscuity shores in all directions … Hmmmm. Did I mention the abundance of local bubbly to wash it all down?

What better way to lap it up than to spend a morning foraging in the rock pools when the tide is out, transforming your harvest of shellfish and seaweed into a delicious feast?

Veld and Sea
What a delicious addition to the city that can really make you feel raw and wild, thanks to the Veld and Sea company

This tasty Summer treat is served up by Veld and Sea, an experiential business that tracks the edible landscape on the Scarborough beach and at Cape Point’s Good Hope Gardens Nursery a couple of times a month.

In Autumn and Winter, Veld and Sea focuses on the wild flavours to be found on the land. In Springtime it’s flowers. The whole gig is organic, local, and sustainable, and the calendar is set by that luscious and luminescent lady of the night in charge of the tides. We did the New Moon experience.

The foraging and the food preparation are all done under the guidance of various nature-loving culinary and botanical experts.

This was my first experience of foraging but I will sink my teeth into other parts of the world around me soon with one of Veld and Sea’s many workshops, all centred around the idea of knowing, understanding, and protecting our natural world.

At first, I thought R700 for the experience a bit pricey; now I know it to be cheap as chips.

The feast was enormous, varied, and lip-smackingly delicious. The mussel pot, which was always going to be a star of the show, delivered a perfect bull’s eye. At least two of us felt totally defenceless against the temptation to lick our plates clean.

The nori chips, with a misting of olive oil and a dusting of paprika, the sushi, and the seaweed salads delivered more delight, the variety of textures competing with the flavours (umami and so much more).

It was a wonderfully informative experience. Most of the day’s lessons were delivered in bite-sized morsels by the super-friendly, young, and gorgeous team of experts.

They spent the day foraging, cooking and feasting with us, friendly and attentive as they shared their knowledge with a crowd largely from other ‘generations’, mostly those usually accused of screwing things up for this one.

What a luxury to have a ratio of one expert to a maximum of four participants. It was an experience that over-delivered in every department!

Other workshops and events run by Veld and Sea founder Roushanna Gray and her team of merry mermaids and mermen include: Wild Beauty, Fermentation, Wildcrafting, Botanical Art, Botanical Cocktails, Mushroom Foraging, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Embroidery.