Setting the scene
On a cold and rainy winter morning in October, we set off early to meet the group at Romansbaai outside Gansbaai for a coastal foraging experience with Veld and Sea.
We were greeted with a warm coffee, muffins, and biscotti by our hosts Alex and Tabby owners of Graze Cafe in Stanford, while we enjoyed the view and waited for the rest of the group to arrive.
The picturesque Romansbaai was a stunning choice of location and we were the only people on the private beach that morning, what a privilege!
Let the foraging begin
Once everyone arrived, we walked over to the rocks for an introduction by Roushanna from Veld and Sea to the different kinds of seaweeds we were about to forage. We were shown nori, tongue weed, kelp, sea lettuce and wrack as well as mollusks such as mussels and limpets.
She further explained the many uses of the macroalgae around us. Not only does it contain multiple nutritional benefits and can be used in many culinary ways, but it can also be incorporated in beauty treatments or a luxurious bath and is great to use as a fertiliser for our plants!
We also covered the dos and don’ts about foraging such as collecting as close to the shoreline as possible and only during low tide. To forage sustainably and not to pull off seaweed that are attached to the rocks, but instead to cut only one-third of the end, so it can regrow. And of course, only to pick what we need and no more than what our permits allow.
Time to taste
With our newfound knowledge, we set off with our bags and scissors into the rockpools like kids to collect our treasures.
After about 2 hours of foraging, we all collected enough seaweeds, mussels and limpets to create a feast to feed us all! As the weather was not ideal for outdoor cooking, we set off to Graze Cafe to prepare a tasty meal!
Upon arrival, we all got involved and started separating the seaweeds from the mollusks and cleaning them thoroughly. Now our jobs were done and we could sit back in the comfort of the café with complimentary wine from Lomond Wine Estate in Gansbaai to enjoy a feast prepared by Gemma, Wild Chef and fellow forager at Veld and Sea, Tabby and her kitchen team.
After talking earlier that morning about the delicious ways to incorporate your foraged foods we were looking forward to tasting it!
We started with a limpet ceviche which was surprisingly tasty! This was followed by sushi – we all made our own handroll using dried nori seaweed and deliciously cured yellowtail as the star of the show. But it didn’t stop there, the next course was homemade bread with the most amazing smoked mussel pate and salad which included our freshly picked sea lettuce and wrack. This was followed by mussels in a cream and white wine sauce, topped with some cooked sea kelp! Alex kept our wine glasses topped up and new friends were made around the table. And if this wasn’t enough, we ended the meal with a slice of beautiful, moist granadilla cake!
Time to head home
What an amazing day we all had! The experience was unforgettable! We would like to give a big thanks to Roushanna and Gemma from Veld and Sea and our hosts Alex and Tabby from Graze Cafe for organising such a great event!
We will be keeping an eye on future events run by Veld and Sea and Graze Café as well as the sustainable living courses Alex and Tabby run as Good Luck Cottage.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy foraging along our beautiful coastline. If we haven’t yet convinced you to try it out, then read our Ten Reasons to Start Foraging.