Marie-Lais Emond
2 minute read
7 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Other Side of the City: Gingerly stepping onto the pitch

Marie-Lais Emond

All the football teams, ready in their colours, are gathered, not in Itaquerao, Sao Paolo but in Melville, Johannesburg. The gingerbread World Cup is upon us, kicking off on Thursday.

Picture: Pawel Kot.

De la Crème is known for its quirky gingerbread men and often women, iced in the colours of sports teams whenever there are big sports matches. The biggest match we don’t have is this coming week’s World Cup. But De la Crème has the rest of the world’s teams in gingerbread, ready and waiting for their games, inside their cellophane packs.

Jimmy the giant gingerbread man is in his Brazilian soccer outfit, lording it over the other players on the counter. There’s talk of a Gisele (Bundchen?) gingerbread woman in a yellow and blue tanga bikini, with touches of green, joining him. No-one is saying and Jimmy himself is silent on the matter, smiling enigmatically, just more believably than say, a gingerbread Sepp Blatter might.

Picture: Pawel Kot.

Picture: Pawel Kot.

Actually, all the gingerbread players are smiling. I’m not sure that Chile have a lot to smile about on Thursday but there’s no stopping them in their iced red tops and blue shorts. Pawel says they are grinning their heads off. It’s possible.

A quick round-up among the waiters and gingerbread games spectators gives us Brazil or Spain as winners of this World Cup, with Argentina, Germany and Portugal as next likelies. Pawel and I are not so sure about Portugal’s position up there because it comes from the designer wife of a Portuguese actor, who billows in on a flurry of butterfly fabrics, to see baker-artist Walter Ncube completing the dressing of his iced teams and indicates her predicted winning gingerbread team, “Portugal!” But she is really pointing at the gingerbread Russians. But the relevant gingerbread teams come in for the main event – dessert.

The losers? “They get eaten”. Of course. Probably dismembered.

  • Café de la Crème, cnr 4th Ave and 7th St, Melville.  Tel: 011-726-7716

Each week Marie-Lais Emond scouts another urban reach, tasting, testing alternative aspects to pique our curiosity about places and people we might have had no idea about.