Ark of taste
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Madd (Landolphia senegalensis or Saba senegalensis), is a plant that grows wild in the forests of western Africa and its fruit is also highly valued in Senegal and Gambia. It is also called saba, zaban or wèda depending on the region.

It is a liane that climbs up trees, can grow up to 40 metres, and can also be found as a bush of around 5 metres. This plant is typical of the region of Casamance in Senegal, where it is part of the so-called ""sacred woods"", sites for worship and animism rituals. It also grows along the river banks. Bunches of roots are sometimes strung outside the home entrance to protect its inhabitants from evil spirits.

The fruit consists of an oval berry of 6-8 cm with irregular and wrinkled skin. Once mature, the berries turn orange on the outside with a yellow pulp. The inside has many large seeds surrounded by a sweet and sour pulp, ideal for making juices. The fruit grow and then remain for more than a year on the vine and only start to mature after the first rains of the season, in April and May.

It is easy to find in the local markets, where it is sold topped with sugar. The fruit is eaten raw or cooked in sweet and savoury dishes, depending on the age that determines its sweetness or sourness.

The forest products are very important in the family economy of the communities in the region, as for the most numerous ethnic group, the Djola, farmers by tradition. Unfortunately deforestation and the degradation of the natural habitats of these plants is threatening their existence.

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Production area:Casamance

Other info


Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Ndeye Madjiguene Diaw