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|Meat (typically lamb), Aponogeton distachyos flowers|
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Waterblommetjiebredie is a stew. The name comes from the Afrikaans language and literally means 'small water flower stew'. It is made of meat, typically lamb, stewed together with the waterblommetjies (Aponogeton distachyos flowers, commonly known as Cape pondweed, Cape hawthorn or Cape asparagus) which are found in the dams and marshes of the Western Cape of South Africa. The buds of Aponogeton distachyos are usually ready to be picked in the southern midwinter months of July and August, leading to their use in winter stews such as waterblommetjiebredie.
The taste of the stew has been described as much like stewed green beans with a hint of pumpkin. Waterblommetjiebredie is a well-respected local delicacy in South Africa and popular with foreign tourists.
It is likely that the use of the waterblommetjie as a food source was adopted from the indigenous Khoikhoi, peoples who worked in the kitchens of the Dutch together with peoples forcibly exiled from the Dutch East Indies. Waterblommetjiebredie is a good example of how these three cultural influences were fused into the cuisine of the western cape.
Some[who?] believe that the early Dutch settlers (circa Jan van Riebeek’s time) used waterblommetjies as a vegetable (and hence a source of vitamin C) in desperation, since their early farming initiatives had been somewhat less than successful. An alternative theory is that the Voortrekkers harvested them as a food source since they were unable to grow anything while trekking.
- lamb or mutton
- Cape sorrel (surings in Afrikaans)
- salt and pepper
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