The best thing about when friends house sit is the magic of new groceries that end up in your kitchen. One Sunday afternoon, I discovered prickly pear syrup (turksvy stroop) in my fridge and it sat there, waiting for me to make crepes or pour it on yoghurt. Instead, it ended up in my fruit smoothie as a sweetener and added delicious flavour to an ordinary combination of vitamin C fruit. The syrup is a tradisionele resep from Cradock, South Africa.
Prickly Pear Smoothie:
1 frozen ripe plum
1 frozen orange
300 ml water
50 ml prickly pear syrup
On the bottle shares a food story about Prickly Pears in South Africa: The earliest pioneers in South Afria were bound to live from raw plant and animal products. Sugar was almost unobtainable and they has to make their food tasty. The juice of the wild growing prickly pear was extracted and then without adding water or sugar, it was cooked over an open fire for many hours, until only a concentrate remained. Great amounts of fruit are needed for only one bottle of syrup. To EAT: butter slice of bread on one side. turn it over so that the buttered side faces the plate, cut into little squares and drench it with syrup. Eat it with a knife and fork. Can also be used as a topping for ice cream. The Voortrekkers also used it as a cough remedy, and for instant energy for sick people.
A future post will definitely include Wild Food: Prickly Pear cocktail recipes. I’m sure people who lived and travelled on Southern African land before Voortrekkers time (1835) had amazing recipes with prickly pears and using it as all sorts of remedies. Would be cool to track down some of those stories and how food rituals were learned from these nomadic encounters.
I love when new wild food ingredients find a handful of ways into your kitchen palette. I would love some tips on how to harvest these prickly fruits!