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Delheim’s Mushroom Week
Put the fun back in fungi at this Stellenbosch estate’s annual mushroom festival
Do field mushrooms fill you with fear, or do they get your taste buds working overtime? Whether you need to overcome a phobia or indulge a fetish, at Delheim’s Mushroom Week (from Monday, 17 to Sunday, 23 June 2013) you can learn all you need to about edible fungi.
The fleshy, fruiting wild mushroom has become the highlight of many menus, and as part of their annual homage to the culinary mainstay, this Stellenbosch wine estate, famous for its fungi-rich forest, hosts a seven-day foodie fiesta where mushrooms take centre stage.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the week-long festival is the two-day mushroom hunt under the guidance of Nora Sperling-Thiel and Gary Goldman aka ‘The Mushroom Hunter’ in the wine farm’s woods. On Monday, 17 and Tuesday, 18 June, guests are invited to scatter through the secret Delheim woodlands in search of these earthen delicacies. Afterwards, hunters head to the Vat Cellar to treat their taste buds to a range of wonderfully wild mushroom dishes paired with Delheim’s latest vintages at an exquisite buffet-style lunch.
Aside from giving fundis a chance to tuck into some delicious fare, the aim of the mushroom hunt is to educate foodies and foragers on how to identify the many different species. In short, you’ll learn to tell your chanterelle from your porcino (or porcini), and you’ll also get to sample the exotic flavours in top-notch dishes.
“Over the years mushroom hunting has become somewhat of a family passion. It is all about the mystique and excitement of the season, the timing, the search, and then the ultimate satisfaction… to create a delicious meal from something you have foraged yourself. Mushrooms are packed with good things like potassium, vitamin D and anti-oxidants,” shares Nora, daughter of farm owner Spatz Sperling – an inimitable Cape wine pioneer.
Those who don’t manage to secure a spot on the mushroom hunt can still join in the fun simply by journeying to Delheim. For the duration of the week, the winery’s Garden Restaurant will be serving up an assortment of mouth-watering mushroom-based dishes, much to fungi-lovers delight.
Tickets for the 2013 Delheim’s Mushroom Week
Only a limited amount of spots are available for the two-day foraging activity, so don’t delay in booking your spot to go mushroom hunting. The experience sets you back R250p/p and includes the wild mushroom forage, a short course in identifying fungi as well as a buffet-style lunch in the cellar; drinks are for patrons’ own account. The hunt starts at 10:30am on both days.
Booking is essential, and can be made by contacting the Delheim restaurant at email@example.com or +27 (0) 21 888 4607.
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