Fabulous Fungi at Delheim to overcome home-cooking fears
Winter has long seen a flurry of fungi harvest activity at Delheim wine farm in Stellenbosch; the rare and delectable Boletus Edulis mushrooming overnight in secret locations scattered around the pine forest on the farm. These have been shared in the past with lucky Delheim restaurant patrons who happened to book on the days that the mushrooms popped up; their harvester Delheim owner-family member, Nora Sperling-Thiel.
Although popular with customers – many of whom are amazed at their texture and flavour – Boletus are as rare as they are delectable; appearing only when the weather is ideal for them to sprout. Coupled with their rarity is a fear of the unknown that wild and exotic mushrooms present, having been scarcely available in South Africa in the past.
Feeling that home cooks were missing out on a health-giving delicacy, Nora has teamed up with Schalk de Beer of Nouvelle Mushrooms, Hemel en Aarde Valley, to offer a steady supply of exotics via the Delheim restaurant.
The initiative kicks off with Mushroom Week 2011, held at the Delheim farm from 4-10 July. An annual event to make the most of wild mushrooms on the farm, a variety of dishes will be available at the restaurant, complete with sample displays and pairing suggestions with Delheim wines.
Two gourmet mushroom dishes will be on the menu permanently, with punnets of fresh exotics and recipes for use at home available for a limited time. Pairing recommendations will be made with the Delheim wines, closing the loop on easy and fabulous fungi for home entertaining. The restaurant offerings will include Baby Spinach with seared Nouvelle King Oyster mushrooms, and creamy tagliatelle with Nouvelle Exotic Mushroom Mix.
Bookings can be made at the Delheim restaurant; email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 021 888 4607. For those out of town, Nouvelle Mushrooms can be found in the Woolworths fresh food aisle, while the Delheim wines for pairing can be found on the wine shelves.
For further inspiration and ideas, visit the Nouvelle Mushrooms website, at www.nouvelle.za.net.
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