Monday, December 10, 2007

Delicacies in the wilderness




















We left the KwaZulu-Natal heading north to Johannesburg. The route took us from Durban over Hammerstein to Pietermaritzburg, where we spent the night at the Aintree Lodge. The morning of October 8th, we left the humid and warm climate close to the coast and drove back to Jo'burg. As my friend Jan had heard of a very good place to eat close to Harrismith, we decided to try it.

We drove past Harrismith, and found ourselves in the great outback, far removed from the densely populated KwaZulu-Natal province. In the Free State, we drove along long and completely isolated areas, with no places to eat in sight. As we had not eaten properly, we grew more and more desperate to find a place to eat, and finally we found it, and it was so different from what we expected.

As we saw a sign marking a restaurant, we found a large yellow zulu-shaped restaurant and shop selling local produce.

And what was on the menu? Home made meat pies, crunchy, flaky pastry on the outside and succulent ground meat on the inside. I ordered one pie with a good glass of red wine.

It was great to tuck into a decent piece of food, and it tasted delicious. It was not packed with people, on the contrary. There were a few guests as we arrived, and they left during our meal. We did, however immediately get in touch with the two guys running the place and they had some surprises in store.


These two guys had left Johannesburg, where they had worked in the catering business and settled in the outback, selling a wide range of local products as cured meats, jams, cheese, and much, much more.

The funniest thing, however, was that they knew people in Oslo, among others the proprietor of Fenaknoken, the best place to purchase the most exquisite Norwegian food products.

They asked me to get in touch with him, and I will, after I have finished this story. They wanted to get recipes for Norwegian specialties to produce where they lived. I got their card, but it has mysteriously disappeared. So if any one of you know what this place is called, write to tell me.

So after a good meal, and an interesting talk we left them and would arrive in Johannesburg early evening of October 8th, for another night at Melville House.

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