sour fig, noun phrase

Origin:
Afrikaans
Any of several species of succulent creeping plant of the genus Carpobrotus of the Aizoaceae, especially C. edulis, C. acinaciformis, and C. muirii, common on the coast and on sandy flats; the sour fruits of these plants, used for jams and preserves; suurvy. Also attributive. See also Hottentot(’s) fig (Hottentot noun sense 6 a).
1890 A.G. Hewitt Cape Cookery 67Sour Fig (Zuur Vijgen) Konfyt. Soak the figs in water till they peel easily.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 176Preserve (‘Hottentot Fig,’ or ‘Sour Fig’)...(The Hottentot Fig is the fruit of a kind of mesembryanthemum which grows wild at the Cape.)
1894 R. Marloth in Trans. of S. Afr. Phil. Soc. p.lxxxivMesembryanthemum edule (sour fig).
a1905 H.J. Duckitt in M. Kuttel Hildegonda Duckitt’s Bk of Recipes (1966) 89Preserve, Hottentot Fig or Sour Fig.
1913 H. Tucker Our Beautiful Peninsula 75Long, many-fingered fronds of sour-fig, uplifting flowers like yellow paint brushes.
1957 L.G. Green Beyond City Lights 225Figs and sour-figs are both fruits of the strandveld. Sour-fig jam made there is probably the most typical dish of the dune world.
c1968 J. Hobbs in New S. Afr. Writing 116Her English daisies..were being overpowered by vigorous red cannas and a blaze of creeping sour figs.
1973 Argus 13 Apr. 4In the Duine, the arid part of the Southern Cape coast..where almost nothing grows except thatch reed, farmers are turning more and more to the cultivation of sour figs.
1976 A.P. Brink Instant in Wind 27Smells of cinnamon and buchu and salted fish and dried fruit, of wild sour-figs and tanned hides.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama May 38There were three meat courses, starting with fried porcupine and herb stuffing, pickled mushrooms, and sour figs.
1989 C.M. Knox in Motorist May 36Sunday afternoon picnickers gathering sour figs from the juicy plants.
1990 R. Gool Cape Town Coolie 44Bowls of kossiters, mebos, sourfigs and other sweetmeats.
1990 R. Gool Cape Town Coolie 114An Indian shopkeeper..began to eat sourfigs spitting uneaten ends into the gutter.
1993 Flying Springbok Apr. 126An extraordinary range of wild veld plants and herbs, wild sour figs — and the Sandveld sugar pumpkin.
Any of several species of succulent creeping plant of the genus Carpobrotus of the Aizoaceae, especially C. edulis, C. acinaciformis, and C. muirii, common on the coast and on sandy flats; the sour fruits of these plants, used for jams and preserves; suurvy. Also attributive.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

18901993