Celia and Rayno Rabie bid Burgundy farewell after 4 years

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Burgundy Restaurant has certainly seen its fair share of changes since it was built in 1876 and 2014 is marked with further change when Celia and Rayno Rabie hands over the reins of this Hermanus landmark. Four years since the enterprising couple took over as new owners of one of Hermanus’s most popular restaurants it is time to move on.  
Celia and Rayno regards ownership of the Burgundy as the ultimate experience for a local restauranteur “the cherry on the Hermanus eat-out scene” and feel that they have restored the reputation of this golden oldie to the stature it deserves.  Four years ago they saw the potential offered and worked hard to awaken all the happy memories shared by different generations of Hermanus visitors.

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Lazy days at the Burgundy

Clients remember the Cyprus Tea Room with fondness and the Burgundy is currently an establishment where friendships are rekindled and memories made.

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This is a restaurant that is not only about serving good food it is also about community, development and involvement. Well entrenched in the community with more than 60 staff members, an involvement and an interest in the business community has made Burgundy and its people a tourism interface for the region. Burgundy employees have remained with Burgundy through ownership changes with the longest employment record being 26 years and the average employee working at Burgundy for 10 years.

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Celia says that she will miss her staff as much as she will miss the clients “our clients and staff were our world”. 
The 1st of August will celebrate the four year anniversary of the Rabies taking over as new owners of Burgundy but it is also time to hand over. With the Rabies remaining in Hermanus they look forward to the tables being turned and having time to sit down and enjoy Hermanus hospitality placing orders.

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Foraging also known as treasure hunting for grown ups

One of my favourite things about winter is definitely all things fungi. I feel like a kid again when we forage. It’s like going on a treasure hunt where you find clues all around leading you to the ultimate treasure … beautiful, fresh exotic fungi.

Chefs foraging for mushrooms

Like any proper treasure hunt you need a map, same goes for foraging. Not only do you need to know where to look for specific fungi but also what is safe and what isn’t. Mark big black sculls for poisonous and inedible fungi and the ultimate “X” marks the spot for those hidden treasures.

I thought I might give you a few clues to add to your treasure map to make the hunt a bit easier.

If it’s your first treasure hunt aka foraging trip here’s a list of things that come in handy:

1. A walking stick (for walking and to move leaves and other debris under which our treasure might hide)
2. A woven basket (keeping mushrooms in a plastic bag makes them sweat and degrade very quickly also you want the spores, seeds if you like, to drop through onto the ground as you walk, spread and hopefully grow into nice edible mushrooms for next year)
3. A knife and a brush (for removing damaged or dirty sections before adding it to your basket)
4. Old clothes (you’ll be on your hands and knees most of the time so no use buggering up your fab wardrobe)

ForagingWoven basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savour every moment of your hunt, take your time and make a day out of it. “Getting your eye in” takes a while so the more often you Guide showing what to look for forage the easier it will become. Pack a flask of coffee for a break during the hunt and remember to look around every now and then because you’re surrounded by amazing scenery. Start with easily recognisable mushrooms and then gradually extend your list.

If possible take a guide with you that can tell you which mushrooms are safe for consumption and which you should rather stay away from. If you’re not so lucky research the poisonous ones before you start your hunt so that they are easily spotted. Please, please be very careful. If you’re not sure rather move on to the next spot.

Do not pick old or mouldy mushrooms even if they are edible. Like any other food that goes off, they can make you ill. If you’re unsure of what type of mushroom it is, use a stick to check and discard the stick if it’s a poisonous one. Never touch an unknown mushrooms with your bare hands and if you do make sure to wash your hands before continuing your treasure hunt.

Autumn is usually the best time to go treasure hunting but each species of fungus has its own season. They flourish in wet then warmer conditions so go hunting 2 or 3 sunshine days after a rainy one.

Pine ring mushroomMany species of fungi only grow in association with certain types of trees for example:
Pine rings – pine trees
Chicken of the forest (hen of the woods) – oak trees
Porcini (cèpe) – pine or oak trees

Quick tip: When trying new mushrooms keep a few extra in the fridge for a couple of days so that if you do become ill they can quickly be identified.

Store the mushrooms in the fridge in a brown paper bag or wrap them in kitchen towel and store in a loosely sealed container. They can last several days in the fridge, some even longer.
I’ll be posting some of my favourite mushroom recipes over the next couple of weeks. Try them and let me know what you think. Some are easy entertaining recipes and others are perfect for cold wintery evenings in front of the fire.

 

Sausage, fennel and mushroom ragout

Easy winter food perfect for keeping the cold out.

Easy winter food perfect for keeping the cold out.

Serves 6-8

50 g dried porcini mushrooms
250 ml boiling water
45 ml olive oil
800 g pork sausages
1 onion, sliced
15 ml garlic, chopped
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped
10 ml fennel seeds, lightly crushed
2,5 ml chilli flakes
160 ml dry white wine
2 × 400 g chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
500 g store-bought gnocchi
45 ml butter
45 ml olive oil
450 g mixed mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper, to season
Parmesan shaving, to serve
Micro leaves, to serve

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in the water for 30 minutes or until soft.
2. Push the pork sausage out of its casings and set aside. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and over high heat. Fry the sausage pieces in batches until golden brown. Remove and set aside until needed.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Cook onion for 8-10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, fennel and chilli. Fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it has almost completely evaporated.
4. Add the sausage pieces, tomatoes, bay leaves and mushroom liquid. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then.
5. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes or until they rise to the top just before serving. Remove and drain.
6. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and gnocchi and fry until golden brown. Season to taste.
7. Spoon the sauce into serving bowls and top with the fried mushrooms and gnocchi. Serve with parmesan shavings and micro leaves.

Photographer: Daniela Zondagh

Food Stylist & Recipe Developer: Inemari Rabie

 

 

 

 

On rainy days like this … all you need is soup!

With rainy days like these all you want to do is go home, make a big pot of soup and snuggle comfortably under the biggest, warmest blanket you have.  (In front of a crackling fire for those who are lucky enough to have one) I thought I could share some of my favourite soup recipes with you to try this winter. Some are quick and easy recipes for mid week wonders while others need some time to bubble away on the stove top. All of them are worth it though! Let me know what you think?

Thai Orange Sweet Potato Soup with coriander crème fraîche
Serves 6

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For the soup
15 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cm ginger, finely grated
10 ml garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
30 ml lemongrass, finely grated
15 ml red curry paste
1 kg orange sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1,5 l vegetable stock
310 ml coconut cream
For the coriander crème fraîche
60 g fresh coriander, chopped
50 g roasted cashews
80 ml olive oil
80 ml coconut cream
250 ml crème fraîche

1. For the soup: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli, lemon grass and curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic.
2. Add the sweet potato and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender.
3. In the meantime, prepare the coriander crème fraîche. Place the coriander, cashews and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Add the coconut cream and blend until combined. Stir the coriander pesto through the crème fraîche and set aside until needed.
4. Place half the sweet potato mixture in a jug blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with remaining mixture. Place back on the heat and bring to the boil. Stir in the rest of the coconut cream and spoon into serving bowls. Serve with coriander crème fraîche, sweet potato chips and fresh bread.

Moroccan lamb soup
This recipe is easy to prepare but start early so that is has enough time to cook.
Serves 8

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Moroccan lamb soup

5 ml cayenne pepper
10 ml ground black pepper
5 ml ground coriander
7,5 ml ground ginger
5 ml turmeric
10 ml ground cinnamon
1,5 kg lamb shanks
45 ml olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
45 ml tomato paste
500 ml red wine
2 × 400 g whole peeled tomatoes
200 g dried apricots
200 g pitted dates
100 g whole/flaked almonds, lightly toasted
2 l good quality lamb or beef stock
500 ml cooked lentils

1. Combine all the spices in a bowl. Massage half of the spice mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook the lamb in batches on both sides until browned. Add the vegetables, garlic and the rest of the spices and fry for 5-6 minutes. Add the tomato paste; cook out for 1 minute.
3. Add the wine, tomatoes, apricots, dates, almonds and stock. Cover and simmer for 4-5 hours or until the lamb is tender. Add the lentils and serve in front of the fire with a good glass of shiraz.

Creamy seafood and chorizo chowder
Serves 6-8

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30 ml olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced
10 ml garlic, finely chopped
300 g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1,5 cm pieces
50 g chorizo, thinly sliced
60 ml flour
1 l chicken stock
250 ml corn kernels
600 g mixed seafood
125 ml cream
30 ml fresh dill, chopped

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, garlic, sweet potato and chorizo and cook for 5 minutes or until the leeks has softened.
2. Add the flour and cook stirring for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the corn, seafood and cream. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through.
3. Serve with chopped dill and chunks of bread.

Food styling: Inemari Rabie
Photography: Daniela Zondagh

Chardonnay Every Day at Burgundy Restaurant Hermanus








What is now known as the Burgundy Restaurant started out as the first wine tasting experience offered in Hermanus. In 1987 there was no established wine industry when Tim Hamilton Russell took over the business and changed the name from the Cyprus Tree Tea Garden to the Burgundy Restaurant. This was the beginning of exciting things to come for the development of Hermanus and its wine business.
Naming any establishment BURGUNDY naturally implies a strong link with Chardonnay and Pinot noir – the two Burgundian grape varietals. Burgundy Restaurant stays true to its history and its name and prides itself in providing a central, Hermanus wine tasting experience of the quality Chardonnays and Pinot noirs made in the Hemel-en-Aarde and surrounding winelands.
Having a busy daytime trade with a buzzing summer holiday season makes Chardonnay the mainstay on the wine list as it teams so well with many of our dishes and complements the sunny days. Chardonnay caters well for the many individual tastes of our visitors as it comes in a variety of flavours ranging from crisp, mineral, unoaked Chardonnays to buttery, oaked Chardonnays. We have a Chardonnay to suit every palate.
The flavours of an oaked Chardonnay tend to be round and silky with hints of vanilla on the nose. Shellfish partners perfectly with this as the buttery character of the Chardonnay enhances the subtleness of the shellfish. With our seafood pasta that has a rich creamy sauce the Chardonnay draws out the lively flavours even more. Unoaked Chardonnays are food friendly and easy to drink and goes well with starters and salads. Try a bottle with our line fish that is presented with a medley of vegetables and a tropical salsa.
At Burgundy it is Chardonnay every day!

Every day is a day for Chardonnay

Every day is a day for Chardonnay

Burgundy explores









Two years ago on a trip to the “other” Burgundy – the one in France – we explored the tradition of wine tasting. We were in the wine centre of the world and were going to enjoy and learn as much as possible from the traditions, history and processes employed that makes French wines so sought after.
As all South Africans we were used to ordering a specific cultivar when making our choice of wine. With a carpaccio starter perhaps a softer merlot will do and then with the fillet a Cabernet Sauvignon would be a perfect match.
It only took one dinner in France to realise that the same procedure did not apply. We received blank stares when we enquired about the varietals on the wine list and only figured out a little later that all the red wines on a listing in Burgundy would be Pinot noir, in Bordeaux it would be Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends and in the Rhône Valley it would be Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre/Viognier blends.
When you are from Burgundy you drink Pinot noir and Pinot noir only. Should you feel a little adventurous you order a Rhône blend or a Cabernet Sauvignon. This was enlightening as at our Burgundy in Hermanus we also focus on the local wines of the area and give visitors a taste of what they can drink when visiting any of the surrounding wine farms from Elgin, Bot River, Hermanus, Stanford or Elim. Our clients want to know where their food and wine come from and we want to narrow the distance from the source to our tables while serving only the best.
Another discovery in Burgundy, France, was the “tastevin” – an ancient wine tasting cup made from silver.

Tastevin helped with quality control in medieval days.

Tastevin helped with quality control in medieval days.

This cup was developed more than two hundred years ago by cellar masters in Burgundy to sample wine in the cellars where it was dark with only a slight glow of the only source of light they had – candlelight. The tastevin cup has angular corners and dents that are designed to reflect light and make it easier to check the color and clarity of the wine. These days we have enough electricity despite the recent power outages in Hermanus and the tastevin is redundant apart from the ceremonial use by sommeliers.
Visiting Burgundy, France, and getting to know some wine traditions enriched us and made us look at our Burgundy with different eyes. Here, almost at the Southern tip of Africa, we are also making history. The Burgundy has been going since 1928 and what has started out as the Cyprus Tree Tea Garden has developed into the first wine tasting experience in Hermanus when Tim Hamilton Russell took over and changed the name to the “Burgundy Restaurant” in 1987. We look forward to making more history with our loyal clients and local suppliers.

How to … make pasta










Off days in the restaurant industry are few and far apart. Although feeding people is one of my main joys in life (hence the restaurant) standing in front of the stove for hours on those few and far apart days off aren’t.  That and the fact that the guest usually sit in the living room catching up while I miss out!

We bought a pasta machine a while back and soon after making the first batch a light bulb when on. If I can’t join the party, why not bring the party to me? I invited a couple of friends over one night to test my new idea. I made a big batch of sauce and pasta dough just before our guests arrived and left it in the fridge to rest. My only instruction on the invite (leaving many guests clueless) was to each bring an apron.

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Upon arrival they were buzzing with questions of why they had to bring an apron but I decided to keep them wondering for a while longer. Laughing, we just poured some wine and told them to relax and have a glass first. The fun will start a bit later. After finishing our wine I told them it’s time to get those aprons on so the cooking can commence. They loved it! Letting everyone roll out their own pasta fills the kitchen with warmth and laughter replacing my usually sulky mood (because I usually missed out on all the new gossip) with excitement! Some were shy at first but the shyness faded quickly after the first dough was rolled.

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As everyone rolled their pasta we hung it out. I got a pot of boiling water on and just tossed the cooked pasta through the warm sauce.

A week later our guest still can’t stop talking about the ‘Pasta Party’. My only regret about that night is not taking any photos, not only was the surfaces and bits of the floor covered in flour but some even had flour in their hair and smears on their faces. Never the less it was loads of fun and for once my FOMO (fear of missing out) was side-stepped. Next time we plan to have pizza party night. What do you think? The seafood pasta recipe below is super easy so the stove hours is reduced even more. Hope you enjoy your first pasta party night!

Easy pasta recipe
Serves 4

400g bread flour or ‘OO’ flour
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil

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1. Stir the flour and salt together and make a well in the centre. (You can do this in a bowl or on a clean surface.)
2. Add the eggs and oil to the well. Gently whisk with a fork, using your other hand to secure the walls. Draw in the flour as you go.
3. Bring the dough together and knead for 5-7 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes to rest.
4. Divide dough in 4 portions amd flatten slightly. Set the pasta machine on the widest setting and flour the dough and machine well. Feed through the machine while turning the handle. Fold each short end of the dough into the centre to form a smaller rectangle.  Repeat process twice.
5. Reduce width of machine rollers by 1 setting. Dust the dough with flour and feed it through the machine. Repeat until dough is 1.5mm thick. Place the cutting attachment on the machine and feed the sheets through. Drape over a clean broomstick handle or a pasta drier. Repeat with remaining pasta.

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Seafood pasta
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
200g calamari tubes, sliced
12 prawns, cleaned and deveined
1 cup dry white wine
12 mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
1/4 cup red pepper pesto
1 cup cream
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
400g cooked pasta
1 large handful parsley, roughly chopped
Grated parmesan, to serve

1. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and lemon zest and fry until soft and translucent.
2. Add the calamari and prawns and fry for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, add the mussels and leave to reduce by half. Discard all the unopened shells.
3. Stir in the pesto and cream and bring to the boil. Season to taste. Toss through the cooked pasta and serve with parlsey and grated parmesan.

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Things we like to do in Hermanus: Abagold – Abalone farm











Chatting happily on our way to Abagold we were not quite prepared for how blown away we would be when we get back into the car. I always thought Abalone was very simple creatures but I couldn’t be more wrong! Greeted by rows and rows of tanks when you enter the gates at Abagold you can’t help but too look back in awe.

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Our tour guide, Anzél du Plessis, explained that the “tour” is located only in one room at the beginning of the farm because no unauthorised personal are allowed on the farm itself. They are also HACCP approved so all the staff wears appropriate clothing and needs to wash and rinse their boots and hands when entering the farm to prevent contamination.

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History:

It all started a while back when Abalone was still readily available but Dr. Pierre Hugo, a veterinarian at that stage, realised that it won’t be so freely available for much longer. In 1984 he started researching the cultivation of abalone in captivity. The breeding started in the Old Harbour in Hermanus where in 1991 a pilot hatchery was set up. They received a permit in 1994 to cultivate, harvest and sell abalone. (It’s a felony in South-Africa if you are found with a life Abalone in your possession.) In the same year 500 000 abalone larvae were released into the Old Harbour for re-seeding.
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In 1995 the business was incorporated into Hermanus Abalone (Pty) Ltd where in 2002 R35m was raised through share issue and bank loans to finance the purchase and construction of Bergsig abalone farm. By 1998 they had grown so much that they moved to the Sea View abalone farm with a 60 tonne per annum capacity in the New Harbour. In 2003 the first 1000 tanks were placed on Bergsig and the company changed its name from Hermanus Abalone (Pty) Ltd to Abagold (Pty)Ltd. From 2004 to 2008 the staff grew from a staggering 120 people to 240 becoming the second largest entity after the municipality to employ people in Hermanus. They also believe in uplifting the community so they encourage and train their staff to work harder for higher positions within the company itself.
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Abagold unveiled an alternative energy plan in 2012 using “Wave Energy Converter design” which would lower their electricity bill considerably as well as reduce their carbon footprint. They had a record growth in 2013; 29% higher than that of 2012. Abagold also won the inaugural South African Premier Business Award for Exporter of the year as well as Cape Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award.

The reason I added all this extra information is just to brag a little with them and to show what an amazing company it is.

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FUN FACT: Abalone can grow as old as humans. This shell is 45 years old!

 Production:

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The tour started with a look at the different sites on the farm, where exactly everything is based and how the breeding processes work. Abalone usually spawns during spring when there is more oxygen in the water. They are not asexual and therefor need a male and female partner to breed with. A female Abalone has a grey sex organ

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The dark grey area on the right-hand side is their reproduction organ. As you can see it is a grey colour indicating that it's a female Abalone.

 where males have creamier ones. The partners are left in tanks filled with extra oxygen until they spray out their eggs or sperm (the blow holes are located in their shell)

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The blow holes are located on the top-side of the shell

It is then collected and placed together in tanks filled with plastic sheets with algae on them. image

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When looking closely you can see the baby Abalone on the plastic sheet covered in algae.

Fresh filtered sea water circulates through the tank every hour to ensure the perfect living conditions.

Live spawning video:

After 3 months their eyes become light sensitive and they tend to move from the shallow rock pools (in nature) deeper into the sea where it’s a lot darker.
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An extra “salt solution” is added that sedates the baby Abalone so they can be moved. The solution is added as it is impossible to move each Abalone by hand because (a.) there are too many of them and (b.) their shells are too soft to touch. Abalone also gets anxious very quickly and if the anxiety overwhelms them they tend to die quite quickly.

The Abalone in placed in dark cones and left for another 6 months, they are then moved to larger tanks for the remainder of their lives.  
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The cone is made in such a way that it resembles their natural habitat.

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Abalones are herbivores and live on kelp, alva and organic artificial feed (produced solely by Abagold). They have “graters” located in their mouths with which they grate the seaweed to consume it. Abagold uses about 6-9 tons of kelp per week to feed the Abalone, the task of gathering the seaweed is outsourced to locals who harvest the kelp in kelp forests.

FUN FACT: Kelp can grow up to a meter a day and by harvesting it regularly it stimulates the growth.

The larger tanks are filled with what looks like trays that they slide into the tanks.
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The tanks are built into rows and each row has a team and supervisor responsible for feeding them, taking care of them and making sure that they do not cross-contaminate.
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They are harvested at 5 years old where they are then sorted by size and weight and either tinned, dried or packed to be exported.

A list goes out every day to notify staff which tanks are ready for harvesting.
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The tanks are then brought into the factory where the Abalone is shucked, cleaned and weighed. They are then salted and then rinsed in machines that resemble dryers or cement mixers. The eyes and mouths are removed and then go for a final washing process. The clean Abalone is blanched for a few minutes (no more than 5) at 80°C, if the temperature is too hot the Abalone will become tough. As soon as the Abalone is cooked for the first time they plump up to a beautiful shape showing off all their sexiness.
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They are then sorted again into weight and place into tins. The tins go through a final cooking process before being labelled.
 
Grading and Quality:

Abalone is graded by looking at the colour and weight. The creamier the colour and the bigger the size of the Abalone the higher the grade and the more expensive it is. In China it is seen as a very high commodity and is usually bought as a sign of wealth or given as a gift to show honour and respect in the wealthier communities. It was always illegal to sell fresh Abalone but it can be exported fresh with the right documentation and permits.

FUN FACT: The inside of the Abalone shell depends on the type of food they eat.
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Afterwards we went for coffee and people must have thought we were Abalone crazy because it is all we seemed to talk about. It was worth the trip and I would recommend anyone to take the tour, you walk out a richer person.  

For more information contact Abagold +27 (0)28 313 0253 or visit their website http://www.abagold.co.za/. You can join the tours from Monday to Friday at 11am. R50/person.

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