Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Apricots of Calitzdorp

The little town of Calitzdorp, in South Africa's majestic Klein (or small) Karoo, is well known locally for being the country's capital of Port wine.  It's a happy place for grapes but for quite some time apricots have also been growing in the area and every year from mid-November to early December their harvest is celebrated.  Last year we visited and got our hands dirty plucking apricots by the dozen.  There are numerous activities for young and old with a lot of apricot biased cooking, eating and drinking. 

Boplaas, one of the town's most famous family vineyards, kindly gave me a family recipe that turns the apricots into something special (not that they necessarily need anything done to them).

Apricot Chutney

  1. 3kg apricots
  2. 3kg sugar
  3. 2.5kg vinegar
  4. 500g finely chopped onion
  5. 1 tsp ginger
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • de-pip apricots
  • cook all ingredients over a low heat and stir well
  • when the fruit is soft, transfer to a clean sterilised jar and seal
Boplaas makes good port but also has a lot of very good wine.  Their 'Tinta Chocolate', which is 100% tinta barocca, is something that is absolutely worth trying.  It won a gold at the Michelangelo awards and a silver at Veritas.  I reckon a piece of rare roast beef, some apricot chutney and a few roasted root vegetables will marry beautifully with the full bodied but well balanced wine.    


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