Supte

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Wabul is a cornflour drink prepared by certain tribes in Central America. In this article we will focus on the wabul prepared by the Miskito communities that live along the northeast coast of Honduras (department of Gracias a Dios, in the area known as "Mosquitia") and the municipality of Waspán, Nicaragua.

They usually prepare wabul from green and ripe plantain or bananas. There are different ways to make it, as recipes change depending on the fruit available and the desired flavor.

However, we note that the steps for preparation follow a similar order: first the fruit is boiled or roasted and it is crushed with a wooden pestle known as a "tuscaya". Then cow’s milk or coconut milk is added possibly along with a little water, which is used for cooking.

Considered in the cities as a dessert or a meal, wabul is more important for indigenous communities in more isolated and disadvantaged areas, where it is a key part of their diet due to its high nutritional value. It is an accompaniment to the three daily meals and is drunk at weekend celebrations or during important cultural events, like the Sihkru ritual

According to the book Arte culinario tradicional: identidad y patrimonio de las culturas de la Costa Caribe de Nicaragua, the drink’s nutritional value is also interesting from a medical point of view: it is given to convalescing patients and malnourished children. In this case, a beaten hen’s egg is incorporate to "ensure greater nutritional effectiveness".

While the drink’s recipe does not seem to be at risk per se (it has been the subject of cultural preservation efforts and is often mentioned in travel guides), the ingredients are. The disease known as "lethal yellowing", which is deadly to palm trees, has reached Honduras. In addition to this, there is a tendency to replace Creole banana varieties with improved varieties.

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El supte es un árbol nativo de Mesoamérica que se encuentra desde México hasta Panamá. Puede medir de 15 a 20 metros de altura. Su fruta, también conocida como aguacate de monte, es parecida al aguacate de color verde. Tiene una forma ovalada, alargada, parecida a la de la pera, y una pulpa aceitosa y fibrosa, de color blanco o crema. La especie presenta una gran variedad genética, por lo cual se encuentran frutos verdes, marrones, púrpuras o casi negros. La superficie puede aparecer rugosa, verrugosa o completamente lisa.

El conocimiento de este árbol y el consumo de sus frutas varía según los países. Es particularmente apreciado en el oeste de Honduras, en el municipio Corquín, a tal punto que el apelativo supte también se refiere a sus habitantes. Esta fruta siempre ha formado parte de la dieta alimenticia de los campesinos de la zona; de hecho, varias comunidades de Corquín llevan un nombre derivado como El Suptal o El Suptillo.
Se consume crudo con limón, sal, tortilla y queso.

El aumento de la población conlleva la expansión del área de cultivos y por lo tanto la destrucción del hábitat natural del supte. La disminución significativa del número de árboles preocupa a los habitantes, que están realizando esfuerzos aislados para protegerlo.

Territory

StateHonduras
Region

Copán

Other info

Categories

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Indigenous community:Lencas y Maya-Chorti
Nominated by:Mario Enrique Paz Mejía