- Product Code: LS692
- Availability: In Stock
A true South African heirloom, Makataan watermelons have been cultivated in South Africa since pre-colonial times along with sorghum and maize. They were a staple food, eaten as a vegetable including the leaves and young fruits. It has always been a valuable resource, especially in times of drought, holding water well and being a reliable source of animal fodder in times where there was not much else.
A traditional Afrikaner delicacy is to make makataan konfyt which is a
type of jam/jelly/syrup preserve with pieces of Makataan. When you think of a watermelon, you think of a sweet and colorful flesh, the Makataan is completely the opposite: The flesh is white to a creamy yellow, and only mildy sweet. A traditional Zulu meal is to cook the flesh like a squash and serve it with maize meal/pap (corn meal/ grits). The seeds are also often roasted and eaten as a snack or ground into a flour to make breads or porridge.
The Makataan is still a firm favorite in many South African homes today. This is a long season melon that is not suited for fresh/raw eating.
Approx 20 seeds
This recipe for Makataan Konfyt (jam) is not for the faint of heart, it takes a few days to get through the process.....but soooo worth it!
Ingredients: 2.2lb (1kg) Makataan peel, 2,2lb (1kg) sugar, 1.8qt (2l) water, juice of 2 lemons, a few pieces of grated green ginger (to taste)
Soak: 1.5oz (45ml) baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), 4.4qt (5l) water
The part of the watermelon that is used is the thick rind and not the flesh. Remove the outer skin and the soft flesh so that you are left with the firm rind. Cut the rind into 1" blocks. Take a fork and stab each block multiple times on each side to allow the solution to penetrate.
Soaking solution: Mix the solution and soak the prepared rinds in the solution for 2 days. Stir occasionally. After 2 days, pour off the solution and replace with fresh water and soak for anther day, replacing the water at least once in that period. Pour off and drain well.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with enough space for your drained rinds. Once boiling, add the rinds to the boiling water individually. The water must not go off the boil, if it does, the pieces will become soggy and will not be tender yet crisp. Allow the pieces to boil for 15-20min or until a toothpick can be easily pushed through.
In the meantime prepare your syrup with the remaining ingredients. Bring the syrup to the boil. Carefully add the pieces and boil them until transparent and the syrup has thickened. Place in sterilized jars and pour the hot syrup over the rinds, filling the jars. Seal the jars and allow to cool. Best stored for 2 weeks prior to sampling, to allow the flavors to develop. Thereafter, will store for an indefinitely.