Find out in just how many ways can you prepare waterbloometjies.
A waterbloometjie (Aponogeton distachyos) is an edible ‘small water flower’ indigenous to the Western Cape, where it grows in quiet dams and marshes, making it a local Cape delicacy. The flower buds are usually harvested in mid-winter and then cooked in traditional winter stews like the waterbloometjie bredie. And how do South Africans celebrate their local food? With a festival, of course!
And the annual Waterbloometjie Fees or Festival celebrates the many ways in which you can use waterbloometjies. This year, four wine farms in the Paarl/Wellington region, namely Rhebokskloof, Under Oaks, Boland and Windmeul, hosted the festival.
In addition to numerous waterbloometjie dishes such as bredie, muffins, breads, tapas and even ice-cream (the weather was just perfect for that!), the farms offered wine tasting and waterbloometjie-themed food and wine pairings, live music, sports activities, a waterbloometjie potjiekos competition and plenty of kids’ activities.
At Under Oaks, Bertus Fourie and Richard Bosman got together to create a special meat and wine tasting called Canapés for Kings. And it truly was a royal experience! Each of the three 2015 wines – Three Twenty, French Affair and Just B – were expertly paired with duck, pork and beef, respectively. Plenty of thought must have gone into the creation and presentation of the canapés as they tasted delicious and were beautifully complimented by the wines.
Luckily, all four farms are very close to each other, so driving between them is no hassle at all. Just make sure to have a designated driver, as you will be over the legal limit with all the tastings and waterbloometjie-inspired drinks. The festival is very laid back – perfect to come with your family or a group of friends – and rather affordable, too, with food prices starting at R20. The cover charge for the festival was a can of food per car for the Night Haven Shelter.
Look forward to the festival next winter. The 2018 dates have not been set yet, but keep your late August and early September weekends open. You don’t want to miss this festival!