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Here's a South African ingredient you may not have come across before: the waterblommetjie (say 'van-tir-blohm-mee-keys'). Cape Pondweed is also known as Water Hawthorn, or officially 'aponogeton distachyos'. It blooms in profusion in the ponds of the western Cape in winter and spring, and has naturalised in parts of Europe, California and Australia too. You can even buy it tinned. Dutch settlers learned to cook with it from the indigenous Khoikhoi people and now it's a firm favourite in South Africa - in stews, soups, fritters and gratins. Seek it out and surprise yourself.