Kuka (Baobab)

Submitted by admin on Wed, 06/22/2022 - 12:06
Latin Name
Adansonia digitata

This tree, commonly called baobab or monkey bread, is one of the most famous in West Africa. Sometimes called the tree that God planted upside down, because it gives the impression of having its roots in the air during the dry season when it loses its leaves, this tree has an aesthetic originality that cannot fail to fascinate. Edible and very nutritious in terms of leaves, pulp and seeds, this plant is an extremely important contribution to the Sahelian and Sudanese diet. The leaves are quite widely eaten for the preparation of sauces, because of their sticky quality which is well palated in West African cuisine. But considering the fact that anemia is a very common condition in Niger, among others, and that these leaves are really rich in iron, their consumption should be stimulated much more. Baobab leaf flour is already sold in local markets, but consumption could be encouraged even better if the drying and pounding of these leaves were done in guaranteed sand-free conditions, and if public awareness campaigns highlighted the nutritional properties of its leaves to the people of the region. For fruits, the pulp is used in the preparation of juices. Being one of the most concentrated vitamin C known natural products, its contribution is obvious. But the juices are frequently cooked, and this could mean a loss of this vitamin, which is a shame since it too is often deficient in local nutrition. It should be possible to prepare solvent powder solutions for the juices of this plant to better benefit the nutrition. The fruits are also subject to export to Western countries, sometimes referred to as ''super-fruits''. Baobabs like to have a perimeter of a few meters of clear space around them. They then develop a wide crown, in which the pigeons like to perch. This tree has mechanisms to conserve water inside its trunk, which allows it to resist drought quite well and to flourish at a rainfall between 300 and 800mm. With a lifespan that can exceed a millennium1, the baobab tree is a perfect symbol of sustainable food production. 1Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/adansonia-digitata-baobab. Retrieved December 2014.

  • Feuilles
  • Jus