There’s something very special about living in Accra. Sometimes I sit in an upscale restaurant and feel like I’m back home; the next minute I’m sitting at the beach side, enjoying the breeze, feeling like one of the locals. Last weekend a friend took me up to Aburi midday to search for some fresh palm wine. Here’s a look at the adventure.
Tasting fresh palm wine was something I’d been hearing about for months. I first tried it at a street fair in Osu a couple months ago. The ‘sour’ taste didn’t agree with me. I wondered why it was called wine. But after just a few sips, I was appreciating it’s natural flavor. A friend of mine explained that I was tasting it at night, in the morning it would be even better. Well, we didn’t make it to Aburi early morning, but we did get there in the afternoon. The 20 minute drive up to Aburi from Accra is in itself, magical. There’s virtually no trash along the road; the ride up the mountain is slow and peaceful, with a nicely paved road and clean air tickling the senses. Things seem much slower in Aburi than in Accra. Both times I’ve been on that mountain, I never want to come back!
|Palm wine and fruit stand, January 16, 2015|
|Palm wine in an open gourd...no preservatives! January 16, 2015|
|Gourds cut in half, January 16, 2015|
|A garden egg bush (the same as an eggplant I've been told) January 15, 2015|
We stopped by one street vendor who had some of the special drink. Here’s tasted okay, but I suggested we go farther along and try to find some that was cold. Sure enough, we went a bit farther and found a woman with some nice, cold palm wine. She had a stand with beautiful pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, and other local fruits and vegetables, some I’d never seen before. As we sat and enjoyed the wine in the sunset, I couldn’t help thinking that this is the real Ghana! A calm and natural place after get away from the hustle and bustle. My friend explained that early in the morning, men go to a palm tree, cut it down, and collect the sweet sap that flows out of the bottom of the tree. This sap is called palm wine. They say it is better than anything you can purchase in the store because it is not processed and filled with sugar and other fattening substances. The locals do nothing but collect it from the tree, put it in water bottles or plastic jugs, and sell it. He and the vendor also explained that (similar to coconuts that are sold along the roadside) because the sap is 100% natural, it’s actually good for you. It certainly tasted good!
Going on the search for palm wine is one of many interesting local activities in Ghana. Here’s another great memory that I’ll have. For now, I’m off to the Central region. Next week, I’ll discuss my adventures in my favorite place in Ghana…Cape Coast!
|Beautiful sunset, January 16, 2015|