Full Flavored, fruit fantasy…
Pronounced WO ZHA PEE, this gem of a sauce is Native American in origin, and one of the first indigenous recipes I learned how to make as an ode to my ancestral journey.
Although my Native American side is clearly estranged since I did not grow up with that part of the family and am not registered in a tribe, I do know that my indigenous side is of the Blackfoot Sioux, a branch of the Lakota. I’ve even had the opportunity to visit the Great Plains when I was thirteen, and first discovered this piece of ancestry through my grandmother.
There are various ways to create wojape, but mine is an interpretation of Chef Sean Sherman’s version from his amazing book The Sioux Chef, who is of the Lakota.
Chef Sherman’s recipe is, in my opinion, the most authentic version I have ever come across because it contains no westernized ingredients such as sugar, flour, and cornstarch, but rather ingredients indigenous to North America such as fresh berries, honey, and maple syrup.
This wojape is subtlety tart and the berries add layers of sweet and refreshing flavors. The maple syrup gives a toffee-like richness to the aftertaste; it really makes it special!
Keep indigenous food alive by incorporating it into your family’s diet. What do you use it for? Everything! No seriously, this stuff decuples as a dessert, dessert sauce, salad dressing, marinade, gravy, pancake topping, snack, smoothie, extract, and even cookie filling! Easily vegan without the honey!
- 2 Cups (350g) berry mixture of cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. I like an equal parts mixture of all five, but you can leave out berries or increase the ratio of another.
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup or Wildflower Honey to taste.
Puree all of the berries.
Strain the seeds of half of the puree, and remix the strained puree back into the batch.
Place puree in a sauce pan and simmer on low for at least 5 minutes or until a bright, medium-dark sauce develops.
Turn off the heat and add the maple syrup or honey. Mix well and take the pan off the heat.
Serve warm or chilled.
- Sherman, Sean, Dooley, Beth; The Sioux Chef (2017)
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