Mahewu

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Zviyo ne mauyu mahewu

Zviyo ne mauyu mahewu   Mahewu is the local name for a fermented sorghum porridge made with finger millet malt (rapoko) and baobab (mauyu) powder. First, a sorghum meal porridge is made and cooled in water. Then, homemade finger millet malt and wild harvested ground baobab is added. The porridge mixture is left to ferment for one day before being drunk. The consistency can vary depending on individual preferences; it can be heavier and more hearty or thinner and more light. The taste is a bit sour, and some add sugar to taste. Mahewu must be consumed within three days because it contains no preservatives and will continue to ferment over time.  

Mahewu is usually prepared from December to early March, when intensive weeding work takes place during the rainy season. It serves as a source of energy for people working in the fields, and is often shared among a group that comes together to assist each other in farming activities. It can also be prepared as part of the every day diet, however, and is particularly used in feeding children who are weaning.  

Mahewu is mainly produced for home consumption, and can be found throughout Zimbabwe, but fewer people are preparing this drink than in the past. It is mainly known by elderly generations, with younger generations considering it a “poor” drink for hard times and instead choosing to consume imported drinks. Production is also threatened due to the disappearance of baobab trees due to deforestation, and the small number of farmers still growing finger millet, as many have switched to cultivating corn. Commerically produced versions of mahewu are produced in other areas, but the know how of preparing this drink in the home with local ingredients is being lost. 

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Territory

StateZimbabwe
Region

Mashonaland Central