Noam Orr, owner of Baraka Israel and Baraka Events shares his passion for food festivals and delicacies like olives! Travel, festivals, food and wine are his passion and he’s hard at work with the EatOut to bring exciting festivals to Kenya.
When you think about the Western Cape in South Africa, endless waves crashing on beautiful beaches that are full of hot surfers, vineyards of grapes as far as the eye can see and a lot of wines are the things that come to mind. Olives are probably not on that list. Here comes the surprise!
In the Mediterranean, people eat olives almost every day with every meal. You can find olives in your breakfast salad, in your pizza during lunch or as a tapenade in your dinner hamburger. However, in most African countries olives are not yet as popular as in Mediterranean ones.
Well, in one small valley it’s actually the opposite. In the heart of the Western Cape an hour’s drive from Cape Town, there is a beautiful valley that looks like it was drawn by an artist, near one of the oldest cities in South Africa: Riebeek Kasteel.
In Riebeek Valley for the last 19 years, folks from all over the area get together to celebrate and to show the world their yearly harvest of superb olives. The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is more than just a festival to celebrate olives or wine. It’s a festival that celebrates a healthy lifestyle that incorporates the health benefits of olives such as its anti-inflammatory properties, the antioxidants in it and its nutritional value.
During this festival that happens on the first weekend of May, guests can try a variety of olives & olives products such as fine olive oil of different levels, olive tapenades, olive recipes as well as a wide selection of olive-based beauty products.
In addition to all of that, guests can enjoy a wide range of wines from the vineyards of the Riebeek Valley as well as a wide selection of fine dining and live music. Don’t forget about the kids! There are special activities for them such as tractor rides across the valley.
There are 8 venues in the festival including wine farms, wine and olive farms, wine shops, olive shops and markets. Each participating venue has its own unique flavour and array of products and experiences, so be sure to visit them all.
In a world where food festivals are growing more every day, it is amazing that an Olive festival exists where olive lovers come together to enjoy them. It is a step in the right direction to creating a community of food lovers, no matter how small or odd. Perhaps in the future festivals focused on avocados, eggplants and even edible flowers will become a thing.