“Leaves are eaten by tortoises… Flowers are eaten by antelopes and baboons. The clumps provide shelter for snails, lizards, and skinks. Fruits are eaten by baboons, rodents, porcupines, antelopes, and people, who also disperse the seeds.” Wikipedia
Caitlin Hill: We’re going through a drought at the moment, which is particularly bad in the Western Cape where I am based. I consulted forager Roushanna Gray about what we have available and what is still growing well… Enter the sour fig! Carpobrotus edulis – also known as the Ice Plant in the States, and Pigsface in Australia, it’s indigenous to South Africa but an invasive alien in other parts of the world. It grows wildly and low to the ground and doesn’t require much water. Its taste profile changes depending on when you pick it.
Although it is very well used locally and traditionally for jams, chutneys, syrups etc, Roushanna says she doesn’t know of any to successful drinks with the sour fig yet, as a) it’s quite sour and b) it’s a lot of effort to work with… I figured I would make a twist on a G&T as we are in the middle of a gin and tonic Festival just now. I ‘defruited’ the sour figs (see picture reference) and set this aside. I then made a burnt muscovado sugar Rosso Vermouth.