Here's what the people of Burkina Faso eat as a last resort: Neere powder cakes. I mentioned it a post or two back and some people that read about it were very curious.
The neere tree(or Locust Bean tree in English) seedpods are gathered and opened. Inside are the small black seeds that are saved and fermented to make the popular soumbala seasoning that goes in almost every Burkinabé sauce. But surrounding these seeds is is a sweetish yellow powder. This is removed, crumbled and pressed firmly into a half a gourd. Then it is popped out of the mold, retaining the dome shape. There's no other ingredients to these "cakes"- not even water and there's no cooking involved. The powder is said to be rich in vitamins A, B and C. I certainly hope it is, because a lot of people are using this a filler in their diet these days. Rice and other grains have gotten so expensive, even city folks are going back to the "wild" foods from out in the villages.
One "cake" costs about 6 cents US (25 fcfa)- quite a good value if you are really hungry
How does it taste? I kind of like it. I think it tastes vaguely like chestnut flour. The texture is a bit creepy, though. Kind of like biting into sandy styrofoam. Valentine spit it right out. Lucky we can still afford rice!
Anything interesting happening soon-ish? Funny you should ask. Yes! It's once again time for the Winyé Mask Festival! I will be taking off on Saturday morning for Boromo and coming back Sunday. Knowing me, I'll manage to pack lots of adventure (more like disaster, but hope springs eternal..) into my short stay. The kids will be coming along for the fun, as will neighbour Tony, his daughter, a friend of Valentine's and some of my pals from the US Embassy, including the Ambassador and her husband. Should be fun!