A page out of the Muratie Story book
Waterblommetjie Cook-Off in the Breede River Valley
22 Aug 2012
Though it’s thought of as a weed in Australia, waterblommetjie is a beloved ingredient in South Africa, so much so that two wine estates in the Breede River Valley decided to hold a cook-off on the 17th of August. Du Toitskloof Wines and Muratie Wine Estate both cooked a Waterblommetjie bredie, with Du Toitskloof winning by just one point. At the event was RSG presenter Martelize Brink who spoke about the ingredient’s history and how early South African settlers and their slaves must have learnt that the ingredient was edible from the Khoikhoi.
“Over the years this led to a fusion of three cultures and the creation of what we know today as waterblommetjie bredie. And the secret ingredient in making this dish? Everyone’s interpretation will be different but consensus calls for a fatty meat to partner with the flowers, salt and pepper and a handful of wild sorrel to balance the fattiness with a hint of acidity. However, it is in essence a simple dish that needs little fuss. The simpler the ingredients and cooking method the better.”
Waterblommetjies, also known as Cape pondweed, grows wild in swamps and marshes. In the rainy seasons, the plants sprout and produce a narrow, oval leaf that floats on the surface of the water. For cooking purposes, the waterblommetjie should still be in bud without a flower, typically between June and September. Once picked, the waterblommetjie should be must be soaked several times in salt water before cooking. Wines that complement the waterblommetjie bredie are a creamy, fruity one such as Du Toitskloof’s 2011 Chardonnay Viognier or Muratie’s 2011 Isabella Chardonnay with a note of citrus and a lingering mineral finish.