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Garri – Indispensable Flakes for Africans

Garri also known as cassava flakes or occasionally called tapioca in some place is a popular delicacy made from fermented and gelatinized fresh cassava tubers. It is widely known and eaten in Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone and also in Ghana.

This creamy-white, granular flour is mostly consumed by soaking it inside cold water. Sometimes it’s taken by adding roasted groundnut, dry fish, coconut, sugar or with boiled cowpea. It can also be made as a paste with hot water (Eba) and eat it with vegetable soup.

Process and Preservation of Cassava flakes

Cassava tubers contain cyanide which is not good for human consumption that is why it’s been fermented so that the cyanide will be removed and produce the desired flavors. The next thing is to roast it inside a pot to destroy the enzymes and microorganisms, also to evaporate the remaining cyanide gas into the air and also to dry the product so that it will look crisp.

For it to be preserved, the Garri must be heated vigorously during roasting thereby achieve a low moisture content. When Garri have low content of water it will be difficult for bacteria to grow in it. The next step to preserve it better is through packaging. This is germane because the cassava flake can absolve water from the atmosphere most especially in areas that have high humidity thereby making it difficult to maintain its low moisture content. When properly stored, cassava flakes can spend up to six months or more without having any problem.

Different between white and yellow Garri

Garri is divided into 2 different parts. They are white and yellow Garri. This is common generally in West Africa. Yellow cassava flake is prepared by frying the Garri with palm oil to give it the yellow looking colour while the white cassava flakes is fried without palm oil.

There are differences in Garri all around Nigeria. The most popular Garri people love to buy and eat is called Garri-ijebu. Garri-iiebu is been produced by the people of ijebu origin that emanated from south west Nigeria. The flake is fine, sour, and smooth. It can be enjoyed without using anything like sugar or roasted groundnut.

The only way to determine freshness of any Garri is by looking out for the crispier grains. Make sure you are on the lookout for this when you want to shop for your ne cassava flakes.

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