I stopped at the liquor store on Monday to buy some wine, and spotted some Cape Velvet cream on the shelf as well. A brandy-based creamy aperitif, the stuff has been around a long time, at least since I was a student. I believe the label shows the landing of Jan van Riebeeck’s three ships (Dromedaris; Reijger and Goede Hoop) at the future Cape Town on 6 April 1652. Van Riebeeck volunteered to undertake the command of the initial Dutch settlement in the future South Africa. He oversaw a sustained, systematic effort to establish an impressive range of useful plants in the novel conditions on the Cape Peninsula – in the process changing the natural environment forever. Some of these, including grapes, cereals, ground nuts, potatoes, apples and citrus, had an important and lasting influence on the societies and economies of the region. [Information from Wikipedia’s post for ‘Jan van Riebeeck’].