How Garri is Produced From Cassava

How Garri is Produced From Cassava

This article showcases to the whole wide world, Africa food known as "garri" and process of making it.

HOW GARRI IS PRODUCED FROM CASSAVA

Garri is one of the most popular foods in Nigeria and some countries in Africa. Garri production has two different methods; the traditional method and the modern method. Each method of production proceeds in stages. The initial operations for each method are basically the same.

The first stage of garri production has to do with the provision of the raw material – the cassava tubers. These tubers are uprooted or dug up fresh from the cassava farms with either hoes or matchets and brought to the garri processing centre or home in baskets, basin or with the help of a wheelbarrow. The skin of the cassava tubers are peeled off. When the peeling is completed, the tubers are washed to keep them free from sand and dirt.

The second stage is the process of milling or grating the cassava tubers. A sheet tin, perforated to from sharp edges is used. This sheet of tin, called the grater, is supported on a wooden stand at incline and the cassava tubers are rhythmically rubbed in a consistent way against the sharp edges of the grater to turn the tubers into a fine pulp. This process which is usually a tedious task, may last several hours, depending on the quantity of cassava to be grated. According to history, before Nigeria became independent, and in fact up till 1972, there was no other method of turning cassava tubers into pulp or mash for garri production other than the traditional method of grating. But today, the use of modern grating machines has gradually replaced the manual method and reduced the physical exertion involved in garri production. Also with the help of the mechanically-operated modern machines, large quantities of cassava tubers can be turned into cassava pulp for garri production in a matter of seconds.

The third stage in garri production is the application of pressure to the cassava pulp to dehydrate it. To do this, the pulp is put into clean sacks or bags, which are securely tied to prevent spilling. Sometimes, a little quantity of palm oil may be added to the pulp for colour. A garri producer may use the traditional or the modern method to dehydrate the cassava pulp. The traditional method, which is quite cumbersome, involves the use of sticks and ropes or very big stones on the cassava pulp. The pulp is carried in sacks and clamped with sticks, which are strongly tied to each other to exert pressure on the pulp. The tying releases great pressure on the pulp, which makes the liquid part of the pulp drip from the bag. The pulp may be left in this condition for a day or two to enable the pulp to dry well for the next stage of production.

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