Carissa berries are commonly known as ‘Num-num’s’. The humble Num-num bush has glossy dark green leaves and big spiky thorns, protecting its delicate jasmine-like flowers and plump, juicy red berries.
When you pick a Carissa berry, you will find a milky latex at the base of the berry– this milky latex is usually a warning sign in most plants – but in the Carissa berry, it is non-toxic.
The berries are rich in pectin, which makes them great to add to jams, preserves and relishes, binding everything beautifully and glossing it with a ruby-red hue. It is also very high in vitamin C making it a nutritious snack eaten raw. The taste of the berries are tart, sweet, with a cranberry like flavour.
Carissa berry, beetroot and apple relish
¼ cup of Carissa berries, sliced
2 apples cored, peeled and diced
4 small beetroots, peeled and diced
¼ cup of sugar
2 tbs honey
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
Place all the ingredients in a small pot, except for the honey. Simmer over a low heat until most of the liquid has reduced, for approximately 40 minutes. When it starts to look bubbly and sticky, add the honey and simmer at a low heat for another 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool down. Pour it over a soft, room-temperature cheese such as Camembert or Brie cheese. Try to share it with your friends – that’s if it even makes it out of your kitchen!
How to grow Carissa
Carissa macrocarpa, or ‘Num-num’, is a handsome evergreen shrub with fairly large shiny leaves, and grows to about 2 meters in height. It has thick sharp thorns and can be used to create an effective, impenetrable hedge. Carissa is found naturally in coastal areas from Humansdorp, all the way up to Mozambique. Although able to survive drought and poor soil very well, it grows faster in good soil with some watering. Carissa berry produces beautifully-scented white flowers from spring to mid-summer, and is followed by large red fruits rich in Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Carissa can be grown easily from seed sown in the spring, but it can also be grown
from semi-hardwood cuttings in spring.
Did you know…our recipe book is in the making! Take a sneak peak on the Veld and Sea website HERE
Tuesday 14th Feb 6pm
Come and experience this once-off pop-up event dedicated to sustainable cuisine that will tantalize all of your senses.
The meal will be created by Roushanna Gray of Veld and Sea, using fresh seasonal ingredients and locally produced products, transforming them into delicious foods.
Vegetables, herbs and wild foods will be picked and prepared on site that day from the Good Hope Gardens vegetable gardens. Indigenous edibles, seaweeds, floral foods and local artisan products will be used.
Quality not quantity is to be observed and that means limited spaces! There will only be 12 seats available at this pop-up so please book soon to avoid disappointment.
The Wild Love dinner will be held in the Veld and Sea classroom at the Good Hope Gardens in Cape Point on Tuesday the 14th of Feb at 6pm.
Tickets: R500 per person
Included: Four course meal, 1 large botanical cocktail, 1 small gift. Guests are welcome to bring bring own wine, corkage not charged.
Vegetarians and Vegans options available!
To book contact Roushanna Gray on email@example.com
Bringing you wild food catering and pop-up events inspired by veld and sea and of course, our seasonal and sustainable foraging courses. There are even sweet whispers of a new product range at summer markets and a recipe book in the creation stages.
Here are a few beautiful images taken by the very talented Gabrielle Holmes at the last pop-up food event held at the foraging classroom at the nursery – a Spier Secret dinner.
“Building up to the Spier Secret festival, we will be hosting a series of intimate secret dinners with selected industry leaders in various locations across Cape Town. Focusing on community and sustainable and ethical food production, hosts will be creating unforgettable experiences in which they will share their knowledge, skills and ultimately, their table with you.”
To join our mailing and be informed of any upcoming forages, feasts and events, send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Please Add To Mailing List” as the subject line.
Hope to feed you soon!