The Franschhoek Artisan Food Route, a hidden gem

franschhoekThe Franschhoek Artisan Food Route affords visitors to South Africa’s culinary capital and award-winning wine region the opportunity to treat their taste buds to some of the finest olives, cheeses, charcuterie and artisanal breads our country has to offer.

The term artisanal refers to anything that is hand-made or handcrafted in the style of an artisan, or skilled craftsman. Artisanal foods are made in small quantities and typically adhere to traditional methods and recipes, using high-quality and unprocessed ingredients. They are allied to the slow and local food movements, and are usually produced in a sustainable manner. 

Artisanal foods provide a great way to know where your food is coming from. Artisanal sausages are most likely made from meat raised compassionately or organically; artisanal cheeses from cows milked by hand, not machine; artisanal jams and preserves from fruit grown on small farms without hormones or dangerous pesticides. 

Producers on this already popular route include:

  • African Chocolate Dreams for exquisite handmade chocolates;
  • Allée Bleue Estate for olives, olive oils, fresh herbs and delicious pesto;
  • Babylonstoren is home to a well known fruit and vegetable garden. A deli and farm shop enable visitors to stock up on fresh produce, baked breads, charcuterie, cheeses and preserves;
  • Bread & Wine, renowned locally and internationally for some of the country’s finest charcuterie and breads;
  • Café BonBon for olives, breads and preserves;
  • Dalewood Fromage, award-winning artisanal cheese producer;
  • Dutch East is all about coffee, freshly roasted and ground;
  • Franschhoek Medicinal Herb Garden produces fresh medicinal herbs which is fast becoming a trend for use as an alternative form of medicine;
  • Gooding’s Groves produces tasty olives and olive oil;
  • Huguenot Fine Chocolates produces some of the best handmade Belgian chocolate in the country;
  • The Jam Jar, a true gem, producing superb jams, preserved lemon and fruit cordial;
  • La Bourgogne, a popular stopover for olives and various styles of olive oil;
  • La Cotte Inn (Fromages de France), importers of fine French artisan cheese;
  • La Motte Wine Estate is home to a historic water mill which is still operational, producing stone ground flour, used in some of the estate’s delicious homemade breads;
  • Maison offers delicious chorizo, pickled Shiitake mushrooms, preserves, olives, prosciutto and homemade bread;
  • Noble Hill, home to a beautiful chili garden, olives and olive oil;
  • The Really Interesting Food Company is the perfect stopover for delicious food gifts and imported ingredients;
  • Sacred Ground is where you want to be for artisan breads, sandwiches, cakes and coffee;
  • SalmonBar has become well known throughout the Valley and afar for preparing beautifully fresh Franschhoek trout and salmon dishes;
  • Solms-Delta is home to the Dik-Delta culinary gardens, which includes indigenous produce.

Should you be pressed for time the Franschhoek Village Market on Saturdays has proven to be extremely popular and showcases many of these fine foods.

For more information on the route contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley office on 021 876 2861 or visit the website on www.franschhoek.org.za.

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