Eats & Drinks, Mali
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what’s to eat #16

Many Good Things come from the fruit of the néré tree, and earlier this week I had a taste of one. In the village of N’korobougou, around 9am, children pranced and flopped about, munching on bright yellow balls nearly the size of their heads.

I needed an explanation, and a bite. Turns out the balls were made from the sandy, bright yellow pulp of néré tree pods.
Mali rural agriculture nere nutrition tree traditional indigenous medicinal

The pulp is extracted, sifted, cooked with water and salt, and packed into tight balls that keep for days and days.

Mali rural agriculture processing nere traditional medicinal malaria nutrition

A bit like a savory rice crispy treat, made of cornflakes. Excellent, really excellent. A sticks-to-the-ribs sort of breakfast, apparently also good for warding off malaria and bacterial infections.

Mali rural indigenous knowledge medicinal nere tree nutrition

I suggested a touch of honey, but I was not taken seriously by the powers cooks-that-be.


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