Muratina is an alcoholic drink named after the fruit of the same name. The fruit comes from a tree commonly called the “sausage tree” (Kigelia africana) due to the long, sausage-like fruits that it bears. The fruits hang down on string-like twigs that drop down from the tree branches. Individual fruits can grow to around 60 cm in lenght and can weigh up to 6 kilograms. The tree is native to South Africa, but can be found throughout tropical Africa. The drink muratina is made in the Central Province of Kenya. To make it, the fruits are cut into pieces and dried under the sun, after which they are boiled in water. After boiling they are removed from the water and sun dried again. They are then added to a small amount of sugar cane juice or honey and kept in a warm place. If there is no wood to sustain a continuous fire, the muratina can be left in the sun during the day. This process takes about 24 hours, after which the fruits are again removed and sun dried. After drying, the fruits are finally mixed with more sugarcane juice or honey based on the amount of the final drink required. This mixture is then left to ferment for between one and four days. The fruits increase the alcohol content, give flavor to the drink, and, most probably, inoculate the right kind of yeast for the fermentation. The final drink has a sour alcoholic taste and odor. It is traditionally drunk out of cow horns. Muratina has played an important role in the social and cultural traditions of the Gikuyu community of Kenya. This traditional alcoholic drink has been passed down from generation to generation and had an undisputed role almost in all social functions in the Gikuyu culture, such as births, initiations, weddings and other special occasions. Today, however, an influx in beverages made outside the area has created a preference among younger generations for the standardized tastes of these modern drinks.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.