Friday, February 8, 2013

Sisi wami uphisa emaganu (my sister brews marula beer)

January 29th, 2013

Its marula season again!  Marula is a small green fruit that grows on a fabulously big “African” looking tree here in Swaziland.  The fruit is traditionally used to brew marula beer, a staple at any Swazi function held during these summer months.  Swaziland even has two marula festivals in honor of this fruit, one up in the north and one in my area.  Anyone who wants to go and participate has to bring an offering of their marula beer to the King.  Then a daylong dance celebration is held in honor of this plentiful fruit.

My host sister Nosipho is brewing some this year.  It’s actually a really great investment to make.  We have two marula trees on my homestead so the product is free.  She collects the fruit when it falls and lets them get very ripe in the sun.  Then she plucks out the nutty seed and squeezes all the juice from the fruit.  She breaks up the bits of fruity flesh that has fallen in and then adds some sugar and lets it sit for 5 days in the warm cooking hut.  Once finished she can sell a 25 liter bucket for 100 Rand, not a bad profit when all you have to buy is a 20 Rand bag of sugar.

Other uses of marula are in a delicious liqueur called Amarula, and at the local factory Swazi Secrets.  This factory collects the local marula seeds and uses them to make spa products.  The seed is extracted, warmed, and then crushed.  The oil from the seed is used to produce marula essential oil, as wells as lotions and soaps.  The left over seed extract is used to make a marula scrub.  They are really great products and produced locally, by locals, and with local product.  My family sold their marula fruit to the factory last year.  Check it out here and look for it at specialty stores in America.

So many uses for 25 liter buket here in Swaziland

Where the magic happens.  Five days later we got ourselves 100 liters emaganu.

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