On the weekend I met up with mother and son team Gary And Maureen Andrews from Ostrich and the Egg and they introduced us to the Koeksister donut.
What is a Koeksister? You ask? I was quite interested myself as I have had a longtime love affair with doughnuts of all shapes and sizes.
A Brief History
When it comes to South African style donuts there are many variations,the two most prominent versions of the Koeksister donut are the Afrikaner which has a twisted and braided shape and the Cape Malay version which has a spiced oval shape sprinkled with coconut.The name Koeksister comes from the combined words koek(dutch) meaning cake and sissen(dutch)meaning sizzler and pronounced together as “cook-sister”.The exact origins on who introduced the Koeksister first are not set in stone.
Dutch settlers believe they brought them into the country when they colonised but also the Indian and Indonesian group’s which formed the Cape Malay community claims the food as their own creation too,possibly originating from India having similarities to the Indian Fritter gulab jamun & jalebi.History aside it still doesn’t change how amazing this sweet.. sweet dessert tastes.
Cape Malay donuts were on today’s agenda provided by Gary And Maureen These unique and addictive South African treats are similar in texture to the polish donut”Ponskie” which I enjoyed when I was a youngster.
The Koeksister recipe has evolved throughout the last 400 years via tradition and culture.
These are not regular donuts.In Fact they are from yeast-based dough.The process includes powdering with cinnamon,aniseed and ginger before being deep fried hot syrup.Then finaly they are rolled in coconut.
The Ostrich and the Egg
During our time chatting we learnt a lot about Gary and Maureen and that they are not afraid of new challenges,Gary and Maureen came across as competent extremely business savvy people that knew their product,what direction to take it and how to plug the gap in the market,we can definitely agree, even more variety in the culinary market is not a bad thing, adding to Melbourne’s diverse food culture
Who are The Ostrich and the Egg
Originally from south africa mother Maureen is the culinarian behind the Koeksister donut with a firm grasp on flavor taste and presentation .While son Gary ensures the product can be experienced by foodies far and wide, dealing with the business and marketing side of the venture.The key feature of this mother and son team that spoke to me was how well they resonated with each other ,as well as witnessing their love & passion for what they do (passion an important key to success).
So what do they taste like?
One word AMAZING!! They combine the right amount of sweet flavors without being too rich, the texture is similar to sticky date pudding cake with hints of ginger and aniseed and lovingly sprinkled with coconut flakes.The dough was moist & spongy when one bit down, it would slowly recede back flaunting the quality of its ingredients.They say its best to have warm and I’d have to agree 😀
Nowadays after the meetup with the Ostrich and the Egg team I find myself daydreaming about having just one bite, one more taste of these donuts with a hot cup of joe.So what now?Get out there, do yourself a favor and try these as you won’t regret it, the only regret you’ll have is not trying these sooner.
If you want to get your hands on a Koeksister you can place an order online or lookout for the Koeksister cart hitting the streets of Melbourne early 2016
Email:Website Online Ordering