Category Archives: Vegetable Ivory

Tropical Friday…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…Doum Palm …

The Ginger Bread Fruit comes from the Doum Palm…These trees grow in hot, dry regions where little else grows. It is native to the Arabian Peninsula and also to the northern half and western part of Africa.

All parts of the tree are used although the leaves are the most important part…used to make mats, coarse textiles, brooms, ropes, string, and a thatch roof.

The timber is used for posts, poles, furniture, fuel and to make beehives.

The fruit is edible..the thin brown rind is used to make molasses, added to cakes and sweetmeats…the unripe kernel is also edible and the germinated seeds are eaten as a vegetable. Found on street stalls in  Egypt as a snack food the pulp is also roasted with sugar and served as a cold summer drink…

It can also be used as a spice…

In Niger, a common drink called Torridite Glacee is made from the fruit…

As the video shows the nut is extremely hard if not impossible without the correct tools to access how they get the outer cover off to make molasses I don’t know…Once inside the nut is also rock hard, and has been described as “vegetable ivory”. Apparently, there once was a factory set up to make buttons from it, in the days before plastic took over the world.

Nutritionally, doum fruit is an excellent source of carbohydrates and fibre. Additionally, micronutrients such as vitamins (especially B vitamins) usually dried doum fruits are chopped to make a drink…that has a unique taste, flavour and health benefits it has long been used in natural medicines…

Once the Doum Palm was considered a sacred tree and symbolised male strength and virility.   In fact, the fruit of this tree was of such importance that eight baskets full of dried doum fruit were discovered in Tutankhamun’s tomb, left to provide him with sustenance in the afterlife.

Once found in every backyard the fruit is now considered more of a rarity…

Thank you for popping by I hope you enjoyed learning about this rare fruit see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets always a popular post…xx