Le lait de souchet va-t-il détrôner le bissap au Burkina Faso ?

The Golden Ladles of Burkina Faso cooking competition gathered again on October 20st 2012.« Koudou du Faso »The purpose of the event is twofold: to show the availability and diversity of national products from Burkina and to inspire the population to include them in their menus. Choosing to do so will help both producers and food processors to earn a decent living from their work.

Tô de maïs complet, plus nourrissant que le tô de maïs blanc !Farine de maïs complète (avec le son), très nourrissante !This year, once again, the Golden Ladles of Burkina, “Les Koudou du Faso”, turned into a great success. More than 2000 visitors came to have a taste of the 60 000 dishes on offer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market of local products – a new feature this year- saw the participation of 15 traders, who were able to sell a good deal of their stocks. This was a successful rallying of support for local consumption and investment in family farming.

By 7500 votes 12 candidates, who presented three different dishes within each category, were selected as finalists. Before giving the details of the winners, I wish to make reference to the Wend Yam Unit. This shop sells maize flour and presented a dish of tô made with whole maize flour (the grains being crushed whole, which is healthier than the husked “white” maize flour).

Oeufs Campana (Tô de maïs blanc et jaune !)Merguez de soja !I was unable taste all the food on show, but I did visit all the stalls. I was impressed by the care taken to make the food pleasant also to the eye , for instance the Campana “eggs”, a composition of white and yellow maize, imitating the white and the yolk of an egg, winning the third prize in the competition.

However, I believe that the product likely to have the brightest future is the souchet milk (which won the first prize in the beverage category, presented as chatta water – probably because this drink is better known in Spain than in Burkina and goes under the name of Horchata de Chufa in Spain).

Pois sucré, appelé souchet ou noix tigréesHorchateria, à Valencia, où vous pouvez vous faire servir un lait de souchet bien frais !The public was invited to give their opinion on this new product. It is quite an event to have it introduced as a drink in Burkina. Souchet is here called sweat pea or Tiger nut, the scientific name being Cyperus Esculentus Lativum). The nut is already well known in the country, but its potential has been underestimated. It is motsly cultivated in the south east of Burkina, for instance around Loropeni. In June 2007 Salif Diallo, then Minister of Agriculture, launched a programme to promote its cultivation. He declared at the time: “The objective is to produce 9 000 ton by 2010, worth 27 billion CFA francs”. I am not certain (!) that the target has been reached, but I think it is time that this tuber be grown for its real value and that a major part of the crop be processed on the spot. In Spain, particularly in the Valencia province, Tiger nut milk is so popular that it is quite possible to ask for it at a bar in the street, not just in any cafeteria but at a “Horchateria”

The valuable properties of the Tiger nut are so many that the tuber would deserve a newsletter of its own. We will soon follow it up. Those who want to know more may already turn to the commercial website Tigernuts.com.

Koudougou October 27th, 2012
Maurice Oudet
Director, SEDELAN

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