mebos, noun

Forms:
meebos, meerbosShow more Also meebos, meerbos, meibos, meiboss.
Origin:
South African Dutch, JapaneseShow more South African Dutch, probably adaptation of Japanese umeboshi plums pickled in salt and dried; but see quotation 1948.
a. A confection made from apricots soaked in brine, stoned, pulped, sugared, and sun-dried. b. Minced and sugared dried fruit, usually presented in the shape of a slab or roll; tameletjie sense 2. Also attributive. See also perskesmeer.
[1796 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. III. 120I saw several kinds of fruit, the produce of this country (sc. Japan), either dried or preserved in yeast, in a mode which is, I fancy, only practiced at Japan and China. The fruit that was only dried, such as plums and the like, was called Mebos.]
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 157I have bought some Cape ‘confyt’; apricots, salted and then sugared, called ‘mebos’ — delicious!
1883 O.E.A. Schreiner Story of Afr. Farm 47‘Here Sampson,’ said his mother, ‘go and buy sixpence of “meiboss” from the Malay round the corner’.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 4Apricots, Dried and Salted. (Commonly called ‘Mebos.’)...At the Cape it generally dries and becomes ‘Mebos’ in three or four days in the sun...To crystallise the Mebos, lay them in lime water..for five minutes,..wipe dry on a soft cloth, and rub coarse crystallised white sugar well into each.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 115No one could make such meibos..and when the apricots were ripe every available pair of hands on the farm are pressed into the work of stoning, drying, salting and sugaring the fruit.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 57Apricots were dried and made into ‘mebos,’ no doubt an art learnt from the East.
1948 H.V. Morton In Search of S. Afr. 293Mebos is not common...Some believe that the word is derived from the Arabic mushmush, an apricot, but others, and this is more likely, from umeboshi, a Japanese word given to preserved plums.
1951 S. van H. Tulleken Prac. Cookery Bk 266Mebos Chutney. 1lb. mebos...Soak mebos in 1 bottle vinegar, boil soft next day.
1955 J. Hendrie Ouma’s Cookery Bk 136Quince Mebos. Grate quinces, put in pot with sugar...Pour into wetted tin and leave to set, cut into pieces, roll in sugar.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 334Mebos, Not a plant but a confectionery prepared from stoned apricots, which are dried with sugar and salt, generally in the form of a roll made from the pulp.
1972 Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. V. 77Mebos is prepared by putting whole, well-ripened apricots into a concentrated salt solution until the skin loosens.
1974 D. Rooke Margaretha de la Porte 229‘Konfyt and meerbos, what a typical Dutch spread’, Fanny commented..; but she was quick enough to help herself to the glazed watermelon and sugary apricots.
1987 I. Davis in S. Afr. Panorama Aug. 11The French Huguenots..produced mebos, a delicacy made from dried apricots, and encouraged by governor Simon van der Stel, exported mebos and raisins to his fatherland.
1990 R. Gool Cape Town Coolie 44She..circulated bowls of kossiters, mebos, sourfigs and other sweetmeats.
A confection made from apricots soaked in brine, stoned, pulped, sugared, and sun-dried.
Minced and sugared dried fruit, usually presented in the shape of a slab or roll; tameletjie2. Also attributive.
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17961990