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One of the Cape’s oldest sweet confections made from dried apricots. The word mebos is thought to come from the Japanese “umeboshi” meaning pickled plum or the Arabic “mush mush” meaning apricot. To make mebos, ripe apricots are dipped in brine, then dried and layered in a jar with a thick sprinkling of sugar between each layer, giving the mebos a delicious sour salt taste. The term mebos is also sometimes used incorrectly for other dried fruit confections - sugary minced fruit squares, or dried fruit rolls.

  • unblemished ripe apricots

  • salt

  • water

  • sugar


Make a brine solution, using 250 grams salt to 2 litres water. Soak the apricots overnight and remove the skins the next day. Leave the apricots out in the sun for a day to soften, then gently squeeze out stones. Shape into flat rounds. If the apricots are small, 2 or 3 may be pressed together at the same time, in a round, flat shape. Spread out on racks in the sun and leave for 4 to 6 days, covered with muslin. Turn fruit regularly and ensure free air circulation. Bring inside overnight. Alternatively, dry mebos in a cool convection oven (60°C) for 6 hours, turning occasionally. Pack the dried mebos neatly into small boxes and sprinkle with sugar: use about 750 grams sugar per 500 grams mebos.

Cuisine: South African

Category: Preserves

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