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Explore a new world of extraordinary flavours and create a menu like no other with these delicious indigenous plants. Learn how to identify them, learn about their flavour profiles and create your own recipes with these delicious new wild flavours.

Why not incorporate them into your pantry, plant them into your own wild garden and embrace all the wild flavours South Africa has to offer. Pair with the new Robertsons spice formulations, and you’ve got dishes that truly celebrate natural herbs and spices.

Check out these plants below with their dominant flavour profile:

Mentha longifolia
Afrikaans: Balderjan
English: Wild Mint
Type: Herb

With a minty, musky flavour, you can use wild mint fresh or dried. Garnish drinks, salads and baked goods. Good for flavouring in baking and preserves, or use as normal mint in culinary use.

Pelagonium citronellum
English: Lemon Pelargonium
Type: Herb

Crush the leaf to release a delicious and strong
lemon scent. Use this herb as you would lemon
verbena. Makes delicious iced tea, or use in place
of lemon in iced water to wow your diners. You can
use the edible pink flowers in salads, for baking,
with ice and as garnish.

Pelargonium tomentosum
English: Peppermint-scented Pelargonium
Type: Herb

Bruise the leaf before use. You can use this incredible herb (it smells like Peppermint Crisp) in baking, teas and drinks. Use the edible pink flowers in salads or to decorate cakes. Simmer the leaves in milk, strain and use in baking or cooking. This makes a delicious flavouring for ice cream.

Agathosma cilliaris
Afrikaans: Bergboegoe
English: Buchu
Type: Herb

When you crush the leaves of this dense, aromatic shrub, you’ll marvel at the sweet, citrus fragrance released from the tiny oil glands situated on the back of the leaves. This wild herb makes delicious infusions and syrups. You can also use in teas, iced tea, baking, vinegars and preserves.

Tulbaghia violacea
Afrikaans: Wilde Knoffel
English: Wild Garlic
Type: Vegetable

Use the white roots sparingly, otherwise you run the risk of adding too much garlic flavour to your meals. The strappy green leaves are similar to chives and the edible summer purple flowers are perfect in salads or as a savoury garnish.

Portulacaria afra
Afrikaans: Spekboom
English: Porkbush
Type: Vegetable

This succulent has crunchy, oval green leaves with a sharp, astringent taste when eaten raw. Once cooked, however, this changes into a pleasant, lemon tang. Spekboom pairs well with egg dishes, is a great addition to stir-fries and works well with fish.

Disclaimer

Always be careful that you know which plants you are using in your cooking. Visit your local nursery for advice on which edible indigenous plants you can plant in your own "veggie garden." Never cook with anything you don’t recognise or know – you want to give your diners a memorable experience for all the right reasons!