Saturday, May 31, 2008

Locals win Festival’s street food competition

- Jeremy Freemantle -

A spur-of-the-moment decision was taken to judge the street food on offer at the Town & Olive Festival. Bokkie Botha, Festival chair, capitalised on the visit by Hilary Biller, well-known food writer for the Sunday Times and The Star, to our town during the Festival and asked her to evaluate the fruits of the labours of all the food stalls. Two assistant judges, Philip Key and Jeremy Freemantle, were press-ganged into assisting Hilary and tasked with eating their way down Church Street.

Now it should be said that munching one’s way through an entire street festival is no mean feat and extreme concentration was needed in order to keep the taste buds impartial.

There was everything! – from koeksisters to calamari, kerrievetkoek to konfyt, mielies, boerewors rolls, kudu pregos and all the rest. And then like a beacon in the sea of cholesterol-loaded food appeared Prince Albert Soetlappies! Delicious, light, sweet and gentle on the palate. Original and traditional and reminiscent of Granny’s doilies. Linda, Joshua and Eloise Fodor were judged the winners for these unique treats, as well as their baklava, sour-dough bread and other delights using all local ingredients and inspiration. When asked whether we could expect to see their soetlappies at the Saturday market, Joshua replied that they were a once-a-year occurrence and their recipe, a jealously-guarded secret! We certainly hope that you will reconsider and allow Prince Alberters and visitors to enjoy these and your other delicacies more often.

Food is such an integral feature of our Festival and of our cultures and we should showcase it at any opportunity. The Festival Committee intends making the street food competition a regular feature in the future and would like to encourage everyone to be creative and delight our senses with their special, innovative food.

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