Guxe (Corchorus olitorius and C. tridens) is a vegetable mainly consumed by Tsonga, Venda and Pedi people throughout the country.
This plant grows without being planted in the cultivated areas, especially by subsistence or peasants. Though guxe plant has seeds, they are not selected, but left to die with the plant, as it grows automatically like weeds in the cultivated area, especially during rain season. Guxe grows alongside maize, and other cultivated vegetables cultivation, and farmers preserve it when weeding their fields, as it is a useful vegetable, to supplement peoples diet because it is a relish which is eaten with pap (a traditional maize-meal). Even though subsistence farmers don’t select the seeds of Guxe plant, it would be useful for farmers to start collecting its seeds for future references since there is a huge risk of the plant to disappear when the area is cultivated using chemicals.
Guxe can be cooked while it is still green, and can be dried to be stored for longer period of up to two years, to be used during dry season. It is a very small plant, and people pick up its leaves for consumption, when cooked it is silky.
Guxe is commonly found in Limpopo and Mpumalanga and can be distributed to Tsonga, Venda and Pedi people working is some other part of South Africa, especially in Guateng and Northwest province, usually by relatives.
Usually Guxe is for consumption especially in the countryside, and since people in towns usually don’t cultivate, Guxe is sold uncooked in towns in street markets, as well cooked in market eating stalls.
Guxe is easy to prepare, it takes less that 20 minutes: after boil water in the pot, add some soda bicarbonate, then add guxe leaves, salt, tomato (it is an optional), then left to boil together for at least 10 minutes, and after that serve with pap, hot or cold.
Green leaves of Guxe can only be stored for up to five days, while they are dried, they can be stored for over to years.