Wild Food on the West Coast

With dreams of long, sweet, left-handed rides down the point, we headed up the West Coast one weekend with a bakkie full of surfboards and a sparkle in our eyes.

But fate was not on our side and there was no swell to be found in Elands Bay. On our walks to the beach for the ever-hopeful surf report, we spotted many wild edibles growing along the road.

Mesembryanthemum crystallinumIce Plant – Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Trachyandra falcataVeldkool – Trachyandra falcata

Tetragonia decumbensDune spinach – Tetragonia decumbens

Inspired by the local wild food, we were delighted to secure a Sunday lunch booking at Oep ve Koep.

On our way to Paternoster, millions of bright yellow Oxalis flowers greeted us from both sides of the road as far as the eye could see.

Oxalis pes capraeSuring – Oxalis pes-caprae

Hungry, late and apologetic – we entered Die Winkel op Paternoster. For people who love farm products and wild food, we Had Arrived. We were served with the most amazing meal – the freshness, the detail, the involuntary roll of our eyes with each mouthful.

Wow.

Thank you Kobus van der Merwe – you are a wild food gastronomy alchemist.

Menu at Oep ve KoepUm….one of everything please.

OystersOysters with apple, wild sage flowers, wild fennel, ice plant and sea lettuce.

Chenopodium chapatisImifino chapatis with pickled veldkool and yoghurt.

Shoreline soupShoreline soup.

White fish pickle, Ice plant, citrus and fennel .Ice plant, white fish pickle, fennel and citrus.

Farm breadFarm bread and fresh herbs.

Farm butter, fish pate and orange preserve

Farm butter, fish pate and preserved orange.

DSCF6700

 Springbok, limpets, heerenboon, winter greens.

carrot bobotie

Carrot bobotie, pomegranate pilaf, peach mebos.

Come on, really now. Isn’t that just the best thing you have ever seen?

Seduced by the charm of the sleepy fishing village, we decided to stay the night and explore a bit. We went to the beach, for lots of walks and of course, to the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

Paternoster beach

Paternoster beach

Dimorphotheca pluvialis

Dimorphotheca pluvialis in white blossom.

Cape Columbine lighthouse

The Cape Columbine lighthouse.

And all around us…winter greens. A veritable landscape of food.

Wild asparagus

Wild asparagus

Veldkool

Veldkool.

Chrysanthemoides incana

Chrysanthemoides incana.

Malva

Pretty Mallow.

Wild sage

Wild sage.

What beautiful and tasty biodiversity we have in our country. Hand in hand with sustainable harvesting, food security has a fragrant light at the end of South Africas wild food tunnel.

Rise up Indigenous food revival – you are delicious!

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