I remember with clarity when I fell in love with spices. During our winter holidays my family often took a trip up to Durban by train. It was like stepping into another world arriving from the cold wet Cape winter into the tropical heat of Durban. The scents were the first thing I noticed, the very air smelled exotic, but for me the most memorable event of the trip was going to the Indian market. It was like entering a page of the Arabian Nights [Read more…]
Every reference on Sugarbush Protea will mention that once a syrup was made from the nectar of the flower. During the early years of the Cape Colony when sugar was very expensive and provisions were in short supply the Khoi-Khoi introduced them to the “honey” of the sugarbush. The use of bossiestroop reached its height during the 1800’s., however, by 1900 the art of making bossiesstroop was virtually lost. How was it actually made?
I grew up in the heart of the fynbos area and was lucky as child to be able to spend a lot of time exploring the mountains of Paarl. I must admit though, having grown up with the fynbos, I took their beauty for granted. What’s more in those days, Protea was considered to be a kitsch flower – only for tourists. I never even thought of smelling them, since there were just so many other obviously fragrant flowers and plants to explore. [Read more…]
Sometimes it is hard to separate my love of cooking and that of creating perfumes. Groot Noem Noem – Carissa macrocarpa (Also called Natal plum and Amatungulu in Zulu) symbolizes for me how these two passions can happily co-exist. You will often find on the same bush both flowers and ripe fruit. [Read more…]