Yesterday on our way home I saw three ladies foraging in the grass at the side of the road. I am very interested in learning more about local foraging so I stopped to see what they were picking. After a few stumbled attempts at finding what language (including sign language) to use in addressing them I found one lady who could speak a little english. They were picking what they called Morogo ( the “g” sound being made as a scraping sound in the back of your throat – don’t choke).
Morogo, an African spinach, refers to a group of at least three different dark green leafy vegetables found throughout Southern Africa and harvested for human consumption. It is considered a traditional South African dish and forms an important part of the staple diet in rural communities. The Leaves have a protein content of up to 36% and high levels of vitamins A and C low levels of calcium, magnesium and iron, consumption may lower the risk of vascular-related chronic diseases and type 2 diabetes
Also known as: Wild spinach
The leaves must be well washed in running water, then soaked in cold salted water. They are cooked as for spinach, wilted or steamed and seasoned, often with samp beans or potatoes and onions. Young morogo can be eaten raw in salads.
The plant they showed me however was definitely not of the amaranth variety that I know about. It was more like a creeper and they explained to me that it can climb up trees. I managed to get a cutting which I planted at home. Does anyone know which variety of plants are used as Morogo besides amaranth?
- Foraging for food in the African bush (slowvelder.wordpress.com)
- Foraging Resources: Books, Websites and Organizations (thekitchn.com)
- How can I forage? (guardian.co.uk)
- Foraging for Wild Food with Stephanie Moon (paganum.wordpress.com)