GUIDE TO USING EDIBLE FYNBOS
WATER - add freshly boiled water to Fynbos leaves and twigs to make tea infusions and experience the diverse aromas of the Fynbos biome. Also make iced-tea, flavoured water and kombucha. Use a strong infusion to make stock for sauces, soups and stews. Rooibos and Honeybush pair well with tomato bredie.
DAIRY - season yoghurt-based dips like tzatziki with Snow bush herbs. Flavour butter with pungent Buchu, woody Snow bush or Cape Mountain Sage and spread on warm, crusty ciabatta. Buchu butter pairs well with steaming mealies and seared steak. Add herbaceous Mountain Sage butter to parmesan gnocchi. Gently simmer Honeybush, Rose pelargonium or Rooibos in milk to make a scented bedtime drink or use to flavour milk tart and sago pudding. Infuse cream to flavour ice-cream.
CAKES & BAKES - blend Fynbos herbs with sugar in a food processor or by hand with a mortar and pestle to release the aromatics. Make Rose pelargonium scones and malva pudding, Buchu or Nutmeg pelargonium shortbread, Snow bush icing for carrot cake, Mint pelargonium meringues nd Rhino bush rusks and. Season feta focaccia, pizzas and savoury bakes like cheesy onion muffins during the cooking process with Cape Mountain Sage, Buchu, Rhino bush or Snow bush.
VINEGAR - create vinegar tinctures for vinaigrettes, marinades and pickling juice by steeping Fynbos leaves and twigs in wine or apple-cider vinegar for three weeks. Buchu becomes sweet with floral notes and the bitterness in Cancer bush makes way for notes of pea. Rhino bush is piney and has a grounding resinous flavour, suitable for a bold vinaigrette. Snow bush adds strong notes of peppery wild rosemary. Rose pelargonium develops a citrus note and Mint pelargonium has a distinct geranium undertone.
OIL - simmer Fynbos herbs gently in a quality culinary oil to release flavour and use immediately in a Fynbos spaghetti e olio, stir-fries, roasting and braising. Snow bush pairs well with pasta and Rhino bush with wok-seared chilli cabbage. Drizzle infused olive oil over grilled eggplant slices. Infused oils also form a flavourful base for sauces, chicken livers and delicate casseroles. Do not store infused oils, they deteriorate rapidly.
ALCOHOL - make digestifs and cocktail mixes by steeping Fynbos leaves and twigs in gin, brandy or vodka for three weeks. We recommend Rhino bush gin, Buchu brandy and Snow bush vodka. Make aromatic bitters by steeping Cancer bush in vodka with a mix of other edible Fynbos varieties for three weeks. Use Buchu brandy in sauces and for flambés.
SALT - season foods with Fynbos infused salts and explore the delectable flavours of the Fynbos biome. Buchu, Snow bush and Rhino bush pair well with braai cuts like Karoo lamb chops, rib-eye steak, picanha and pork kebabs. The aromatics are held in suspension by the moist sea salt, extending the flavour sensation. Make rubs with a mix of Fynbos herbs and salt: use a Buchu rub to prep grilled chicken and lamb roast. Add Fynbos herbs to salt ferments such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Crust the rim of a cocktail glass with Buchu or Rooibos infused salt to make a margarita with a Fynbos twist.
SUGAR - make a traditional Fynbos cordial by cooking leaves and twigs with sugar, water and lemon juice till it has the consistency of a syrup. Add spring water for a zesty cooldrink or use as a base for Fynbos inspired cocktails. Dip fried koeksisters in Rose pelargonium syrup. Make scented sugar by layering Mint or Rose pelargonium leaves with granulated sugar and serve with tea infusions. Flavour chutneys, glazes and preserves. Pair fruity Rooibos with marmalade.