Pie-vana on the N2
Standing in a queue at a petrol station at Swellendam off the N2 in the Overberg, I overhear a man say to his companion, 'Jirre, they make lekker pies!' (Heavens, they make good/tasty pies.)
Being a pie snob, I glance around to make sure the gent isn’t talking about those takeaway parcels of gloop in dough masquerading as pies that are sold in every petrol station from Springbok to the Soutpansberg. He isn’t.
So I keep eavesdropping. 'Fat chunks of steak in lekker gravy, and my wife won’t leave without a dozen Danishes,' he continues.
(Me) 'Ahem, excuse me for interrupting, but where can I find these pies you’re talking about?'
Ten minutes later, with a hand-drawn map in hand, we’re driving in the opposite direction (we were headed east towards Mossel Bay), back towards the farmer’s village of Riviersonderend and the OuMeul Bakkery in Main Road.
For a sleepy-ish village, trade at the bakery is brisk. The car park’s full, and a steady stream of people come and go from the modest house-turned-pie shop, all clutching their purchases (some are already munching on them before they’re out the shop door – always a good sign).
Well, it turns out my petrol station pie-informant, whose name is Gerrit, got it so very right. The sight and smell of OuMeul’s buttery, golden homemade pies and pastries soothe even my grumpy husband, who earlier declared my need to detour 1 hour out of our way 'to buy bloody pies, bloody irrational!'.
We grab a coffee to go and stock up on still-warm steak and kidney pies, venison and bobotie pies, rusks, and an assortment of pastries. We also buy a piled-high-with-meringue lemon pie to present to our hosts at our next stop. The steak and kidney pies, the best I've eaten, are demolished before we're halfway to Albertinia.
Well, it turns out my petrol station pie-informant, whose name is Gerrit, got it so very right.
'We make everything from scratch, even the pastry,' says owner Antonie Basson, and, she assures me, they’re still using the same recipes created by OuMeul’s original pie-queen, Tanie Rina, in 1989.
To attain pie-vana, drive south-east from Cape Town on the N2 for about 2 hours. OuMeul Bakkery is located at 27 Main Road, Riviersonderend (open 7 days a week). Tel: +27 (0)82 374 6275; email: email@example.com.
Category: Food & Wine