What on earth are “Heerboontjies”?
Heerbone have been grown for decades in South Africa, but very little is known about this West Coast delicacy.
The stories that are shared in the Sandveld suggest that the beans were first introduced to the Cape by one of the Simon van der Stel governors. The farmers then had to give a certain amount back to the Governor as a tax payment – which suggests that the “lord” had to be paid. The locals then called the beans “Heerboontjies”. As rumour has it, the Queen also received her annual quota of beans, which apparently is still an ongoing occurrence!
The beans are very sensitive to a high PH and prefer sandy soil. They are not consumed green/raw – but dried – and are white in colour with a black speck on the “belly” side of the bean.
Heerbone are delicious in lamb stews – but also give great flavour to soups. I have included a traditional Sandveld “Kerrieboontjiebredie” recipe for you to try – which has been carried down from generation to generation.