Buffeljagsbaai fisherwomen showcase at a Cheese and Wine festival

The Alikreukel stand of the women of Buffelsjagbaai and Suurbraak made a huge impact at the Cheese and Wine Festival in Stellenbosch recently, according to Sarah Niemand, Coastal Links SA (CLSA) member in Buffelsjagbaai.

“Some people cried when they related their stories of they used to harvest the alikreukels from the rocks with their mothers, when no permits were needed to do so,” said Niemand.

She said that the alikreukel dishes they made brought many memories back to many people who attended the festival.

The festival, which happened from April 30 – May 2, took place at the Sandringham Farm, just outside Stellenbosch, and was hosted by a major supermarket.

“At our stand we showcased the alikreukels, sour-fig jam and the abalone soup that was made by the women of Buffelsjagbaai and Suurbraak.”

Three women each rom Suurbraak and Buffelsjagbaai showcased their communities’ products.

Niemand says that they were the innovative stand at this year’s festival, because they brought something new, and products that could not be found at other stands.

“We brought the sea and the plants and flowers of the sea to the festival.”

Niemand said that the perlemoen they buy from other people, but for the alikreukels and, they use their recreational permits they buy at the post office, to harvest their products.

“We had many offers from people who wanted us to make our products in higher volumes, but our permits do not allow us.

“Checkers wants us to make an atchar out of our sour figs which they can sell, and to put our alikreukels in a stronger chilly and also make a curry out of it, like pickle fish.”

Niemand says that they have already experimented with these new ideas and it seems like it can work, and that the department must now seriously consider giving their co-operative commercial permits to harvest the alikreukels and sour figs.

As a cooperative, Niemand says that they are now also busy packaging Hotentotvis (Cape Bream) for the Johannesburg market, and that they are quite successful with that venture.

The women of Buffelsjagbaai and Suurbraak were sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Fishing Pax, a fishing company to attend the festival.

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