Friday, January 20, 2012

Montagu Dried Fruit

I love summer fruits (well, any fruit actually) like peaches, plums and apricots.  That was one of the many reasons I looked forward to spending the first part of our summer holiday in the Klein Karoo town of Montagu.  The area has a rich soil and amazing micro climate and along with the fact that there is an abundance of water makes it ideal to farm summer fruits.

On our first day in Montagu I discovered the Montagu Dried Fruit Factory Shop.  Let me not start about my love for dried fruit.  Nom nom nom...  Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts was established in 1991 and as one of Africa’s largest wholesalers of dried fruit and nuts and currently markets 35% of all dried tree fruit in South Africa.  The shop has an amazing range of dried fruit (and nuts) and we probably returned another three or four times while we were in town. 

Except for the dried fruit, they also sell fresh apricots and peaches.  The apricots sold for... wait for it... you won't believe this... R2 per kilogram.  Drama Princess filled up a couple of bags for us and we had to keep reminding the kidz not to over indulge as we didn't want any tummy problems.

The factory is situated right behind the shop, but visitors aren't allowed inside the factory itself.  We did go on a tractor tour (which I will post about shortly) during which was saw the peaches being dried in the sun.  I posted a picture of peach pips yesterday and a couple of people asked what it's used for.  Somebody in town told me that Montagu Dried Fruit is the only place in South Africa that "produces" the pips like this.  They break them to get the moisture out and then they also get dried in the sun.  Its then sold to people who put them in the gardens, specially in garden paths and drive ways.  All the roads in Montagu Caravan Park where we stayed is covered in peach pips.  I wish I could get my hands on some.

3 comments:

  1. Yummy place to visit!! and those trays and trays of drying fruits!!

    Paths paved in pips/'gold' !! Interesting! Lifestyle uses macadamia shells on which they store their plants in bags. They also sell them by the bag full. I've put them as mulch.

    Price of fruit is amazingly cheap!

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  2. Interesting use of the pips. I'd have trouble staying away from the apricots too.

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  3. Loved seeing your little Drama Princess. What a cutie she is with her strikingly blonde hair. I'm sure she had fun filling up those bags and I wish I could have a bag or two myself, since I'm really into making smoothies for ours breakfasts these days and the prices I'm paying are considerably more. I did know peach pips are used as a mulch or for paths and driveways. I saw this done at Malgas, on the Breede River (you'll have to take your children across the last remaining ferry in SA, which is on the Breede River. They'll love it!). My parents used to have a holiday home there many moons gone by and one of their neighbors used peach pips in this way. I seem to recall they may have been farmers from the Montagu area.

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