My childhood nanny, Martha, had worked for a Jewish family for many years, before her employer died. She was fluent in Yiddish and would call me to eat “Kommen Sie und essen Sie, ist die Speise auf dem Tisch!” If she served something I didn’t like, she would glare at me with her hands on her hips and say “Nu? Suddenly you are a feinschecker, Missy?” It would be many years before I realized that not all black women spoke like that, but – by the time I had come to know better – I had concluded that I am indeed a feinschmecker; a hopeless slave to all things gourmet.

During the prelude to the recent Taste of Joburg show, I was told that I had won a hamper from one of the sponsors, The Feinschmecker, a local supplier of gourmet Continental deli meats & more. I’d been given tickets to the show by the organizers, and the Feinschmecker people asked me to collect my hamper and have my photo taken. As it happened I was too ill at the time and missed the show, the hamper buried in some murky corner of my mind. A representative from the company contacted me last week, asking to make arrangements to have one of their salesforce deliver. I expected a bit of sausage and sliced ham. Imagine, then, how delighted I was when the chap gave me a boot load of goodies, foodie heaven for me! Absolute bliss, thank you so much!

PINK Polka Dot’s weekly food quiz:
1. What is an éclade des moules? A mussel hot pot.
2. What is spaetzle? German fried noodles.
3. What type of animal correctly predicted Germany’s FIFA world cup win? An octopus.
4. What is the difference between butterscotch and caramel? One is made with butterr?
5. What is the main ingredient of the Middle Eastern spread called baba ganoush? Brinjals. Yum!
6. What is the main ingredient of the Italian aperitif, called cynar? Artichokes.
7. Why is starfruit toxic to patients with chronic renal failure? No idea.
8. What is bitterballen? Meatballs.
9. What gives red velvet cake its red colour? Beetroot.
10. What are the main ingredients of a Californian roll? Rice and seaweed?



  1. You are so lucky!!!! Just looking like that have me in foodie heaven!!! Enjoy the hamper and thanks for doing the quiz!!!

  2. I’m a vegetarian so I wouldn’t be at all pleased with a hamper like that but I’m also able to understand what a great present this is for you. And in case you wonder: no, I wouldn’t be the least bit happy with a basket full of vegetables. We eat meat-replacements, not veggies. 🙂

    I learned a few new things from your quiz. Nice!

    I had no idea there was an aperitif made from artichokes. How… odd! I knew bitterballen, ’cause they’re Dutch (as far as I know). They are balls made from slushy meat (I mean, some sort of meat sauce) and covered with crumbs, then deep fried. Quite nice.. if you eat meat.

  3. Cindy, what a beautiful package to arrive. Hope you have wonderful moments with it, with good friends. And you’ll be able to find something in it to celebrate The Bun’s wonderful achievements, I feel sure.

  4. Well done! What an awesome hamper! Star fruit contain oxalic acid that is toxic if you have renal disease. Also it contains a neurotoxic substance that the kidneys usually deal with but if you have renal disease they cannot do the necessary. So its a double blow for some people. One star fruit is enough to kill someone with kidney disease!! xx

  5. Cin…
    I so seldom comment (although I read every day) because I can’t add much to your food and wine posts (being largely unsophisticated and incompetent in that area), but harking back to your semi-recent “hair cut”, I’ve gotta say, you wear short hair very, very well. ))

  6. lol…hehe,,, really laughing outloud!!! Here in the southern US mine was named…” Aunt Janey” and she’d say…use bess gets with da soul food boah…and then she would say, Lawdy Murcy…I ain’t nevah seen such de like…then SHE would laugh out loud… sweetest memory I think I have.. until now, yet… had forgotten..
    okay, But, Cindy…LAw hAT Mercy I has a “Kugel” recipe faws you…I’ll post it one day.. Soon, maybe tomorrow…
    Love ya

  7. I find it fascinating, Cindy that you had a childhood nanny. I wonder if you and your family kept in touch with her over the years. Hewr story would make fascinating listening.

    And yes I understand your joy; it would be the same for me were I to win some prize in poetry especially if it came with some material reward

    • As I remember it she retired and went ‘home’ to her Bantustan in Lesotho (which is what the village of birth is called here). I don’t know if she kept in contact with my mother, there would not have been a local post office, and there would most certainly not have been a telephone anywhere nearby.

  8. Pingback: Answers to Friday Food Quiz number 64 «

  9. I love this, Cindy. You combine food and words so well, such wordy rich blog posts. Brinjals = new to me word for eggplant. Bitterballen = much more fun than meatballs. “We’re having spaghetti and bitterballen tonight.” I rather like that.

    Had to look up the business on starfruit and it does have a neurotoxin in it that is fatal if one has kidney disease and can’t filter it out. Hummmmmm … they look so benign.

    In U.S.: all the trivia you probably don’t care to have: Red Velvet Cake is Southern. I have never made it or eaten it, but do believe from my reading that they use red food coloring, which may come from beetroot for all I know. California Roll is made with avocado. It’s sushi for vegans. Yum!

    Congrats on the food basket. Nice!

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