The intension of this article is to inform readers on the mighty baobab tree, its fruit, and the pulp that comes from within. These trees are massive and grow wild throughout parts of Africa.
THE BAOBAB TREE
Known as “The Tree of Life” to many Africans, Baobab Trees can grow up to 20 meters tall and about 15 meters wide. It can store thousands of liters of water, and when tapped during the dry months, it can offer clean usable water to the community.
Every part of the Baobab Tree offers many uses. Traditionally, the cork-like bark is fire resistant and is used for cloth or rope, the leaves and fruit are traditionally used in herbal remedies and in cooking, and the hollowed trunks become shelter for both people and animals. African’s have known of Baobab’s many benefits, and have been traditionally using and honoring the Baobab tree for centuries.
Baobab fruit are ovoid with a hard, brittle shell covered by a fine fuzz, and can range in size from 8-15 inches long and weigh as much as a kilogram dried. When the dried fruit is cracked open, one sees whitish chunks and reddish fibers. The chunks are the dried mesocarp surrounding the seeds. People often just pop a chunk into their mouths where the pulp dissolves and they spit out the seeds.
BAOBAB FRUIT PULP
Baobab Fruit Pulp has a delicious sweet/tart flavor and is like wild candy! Traditionally, the insides of the fruit are placed in a mortar and pounded to separate the powdered pulp from the seeds and fibers, and then sieved to yield a flour-like pure powder. This is often used in sauces and beverages, especially when people need an energy boost. Indigenous African medicine uses it for its febrifuge (fever reducing) properties, to aid digestion due to its fiber content and to treat dysentary.
Gathering underneath a baobab tree during organic training.