“DIP ‘N OUMA”
OUMA RUSKS – A SOUTH AFRICAN CULINARY HERITAGE
Many years ago in 1939, during the Great Depression, the community of the little Eastern Cape town known as Molteno, was unaware of how well-known it wold become world-wide.
In order to financially assist their struggling families, the local Pastor offered the women in the congregation a half-a-crown (Two Shillings and a Sixpence), to use the money and their skills to generate an income.
Elizabeth Ann Greyvenstein from the farm Friedenham, known as Ouma Nannie, hauled out a family recipe for rusks, and went about baking a batch. She then sold them at the next Church bazaar, and within minutes, the delicious rusks were snapped up by eager shoppers, and that is when the orders started pouring in.
Soon after that, Ouma Nannie’s rusks were available at the various community social occasions and sporting events. Her Son cleverly saw the opportunity to test the demand for his Mom’s delicacy, and went on a national road trip, taking the rusks with him and promoting them. He returned with loads of orders, and went about turning the family barn into a rusk factory, equipping it with home-made rusk dryers and clay ovens.
To this day, the legendary Ouma rusks are still being baked at Friedenham Farm. The business became the little town’s most recognised industry and employs the most staff within a 150km radius.
Ouma Nannie kept her hand on the business for many years, and sadly passed away in 1989 at the ripe old age of 98 years.
Ouma rusks are now still enjoyed daily, especially with that first morning cuppa. The product is available in stores throughout South Africa and is also found on shelves in stores for South African expatriates overseas.
Some 80 years later, the legend of Ouma Rusks lives on.