Entertainment Special Events Cape Town Festival to Create World's Longest Koek Suster

Cape Town Festival to Create World's Longest Koek Suster

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Spattering oil and the irresistible sweet aroma of traditional Cape delicacy, the koe(k)suster, will be the order of the day in the Company's Gardens.

On Sunday 21 March 2004 the South African Chefs Association and local koe(k)suster "tannies" and "tieties" combine their gastronomic talents to construct the World's Longest Koe(k)suster - all 30 metres of it! So now the question remains - is it a koeksuster or is it a koe'sieste?

A refreshing addition to this year's Cape Town Festival, the event is set to take place down Government Avenue from 10a.m. onwards, culminating in a ceremonial cut-and-distribute ceremony at 5p.m.  Shelters for homeless children are currently being shortlisted as potential beneficiaries of this event. And on closer inspection, it seems that our humble koe(k)suster is deserving of the fuss.

The koe(k)suster's diverse tales of origin will be given a voice through combining the more conventional mass produced-style koe(k)suster with closely guarded traditional family recipes. These two koe(k)suster styles will meet halfway in a symbolic joining and eating of the pastry.

The brainchild of Cape Town Festival CEO, Yusuf Ganief, he is quoted as saying that this cultural cross-over goes "beyond the fun and frivolous and makes a statement about the core philosophy of the Cape Town Festival.

"As a unique expression of cultural cuisine," Ganief explains, "the koe(k)suster event effectively symbolizes the essence of what the Festival is trying to achieve in terms of depicting both our uniquely different qualities and our inter-dependence as communities."

Ganief goes on to explain that the koe(k)suster resides both within the Afrikaans and Muslim community as a tradition that is passed on from generation to generation - and, as such, celebrates those things within the city's different cultures that hold us together and create synergy and also signify our cultural uniqueness.

Festival organizers had hoped to arouse the interest of the Guiness Book of World Records - instead organisers were met with a refusal letter on the grounds that a koe(k)suster is unknown to other nationalities, and would therefore not arouse global interest.
"Undaunted, we're pressing ahead!" quips Ganief.

On the logistics front, organiser Beryl Eichenberger and her team are working around the clock to ensure that the event pulls off without a hitch.

Overseen by a vigilant "inspector", a tape measure will be at hand to verify the length of the thirty 1.8 metre tables, each covered with cloths, cling wrap and umbrellas to keep the drying sun's rays at bay from the pre-prepared 1-metre dough strips.

It is clear that the Company's Garden will be the place to be on 21 March - with the additional presence of celebrated Capetonian actors, comedians and top local musicians. Capetonians and visitors alike look set to flock into the Mother City to view this extraordinary culinary creation.