Samuel Baker loved to talk about local food processing techniques in his mid-19th Century African travel documentaries, which is fortunate for those of us trying to trace foods and their processing prior to modern times in Africa.
Here is what Sir Baker has to say about making a cider from green plantains, a method that can still be found today here in Burundi:
The method of cider-making was simple.
The fruit was buried in a deep hole and covered with straw and earth;–at the expiration of about eight days the green plantains thus interred had become ripe;
–they were then peeled and pulped within a large wooden trough resembling a canoe (see my picture above, of a modern production – Diana);
–this was filled with water, and the pulp being well mashed and stirred, it was left to ferment for two days, after which time it was fit to drink.
(Diana says – the longer you leave it, the stronger it gets!! 🙂
Source: Sir Samuel W. Baker, Gold Medallist of the Royal Geographical Society, The Albert N’Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile And Explorations of the Nile Sources.
- Colonial Musings on Mount Cameroon: Out with the Plantains! In with the Coffee & Sugar! (dianabuja.wordpress.com)
- A Colonial Elephant Hunt in Central Africa – Sir Samuel Baker (dianabuja.wordpress.com)