Last Friday I headed out to Stellenbosch to attend a morning of mushroom foraging and feasting at Delheim. They host guided mushroom forage events during the winter months and its a wonderful opportunity to get close to the forest floor and experience the mesmerising world of fungi growing in the wild.
The event was made special by the two hosts – Delheim’s Nora Sperling-Thiel and Gary “The Mushroom Fundi” Goldman. Both are experienced foragers and lead the mushroom ‘hunts’ through the lush Delheim pine forest. Nora’s super cute Jack Russell Miss Vuvu will be a highlight of the day.
We started out with a glass of delicious gluhwein and a comprehensive workshop on mushroom identification in the farm’s vat cellar before heading our walk into the pine forest to hunt shrooms. This is a very important part of the process because mushrooms can be lethal. Going with an experienced guide is an absolute necessity if you are a beginner. Luckily connected with an experienced forager from the start, and with her ability to spot rare specimens helped immensely so I could focus on taking the photos. It didn’t bother me that we didn’t find many edible shrooms – although others found a lot, it was just so lovely to see the abundance and variety of specimens in a fairly small area.
Lunch ended the day in the estate’s Garden Restaurant where Chef Bruce von Pressenten put on a three-course meal that showcases these the local mushrooms. It was really delicious and looked like this:
Sauteed oyster mushroom with soy, sesame, spring onion, garden salad and chilli wrapped in a taco (paired with the Delheim Pinotage Rose)
Pickled shiitake mushrooms with balsamic on puff pastry (paired with Delheim Sauvignon blanc)
Wild mushroom bon bon with deep-fried basil and a pork jus on a bed of foie gras (paired with Delheim Shiraz / Cab Sauv)
Homemade tagliatelle with creamy mushrooms, quenelle of slow braised beef cheek, sauteed wild mushrooms, rocket, Parmesan shavings and a truffle espuma (paired with Delheim Chardonnay Sur Lie
Dark chocolate porcini fondant teacup (paired with Delheim Pinotage)
This unique gourmet food and wine experience is for adults only and costs R695 per person. It includes an informative workshop, mushroom hunt, a tantalising mushroom-themed food and wine experience and a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy at home.
*I as invited to attend this event by Delheim
A few of my favourite mushroom recipes:
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