Ucuru wa Mukio

Ark of taste
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Ucuru wa mukio is a traditional fermented porridge connected to the Gikuyu community. It is made from dried maize that is soaked in water for 24 hours to soften. The water is then drained off and the maize is ground in a large mortar and pestle (called ndiri na muti) until a soft flour (called kimere) is obtained. This flour is mixed with water to create a porridge mixture. Any maize hulls or unground kernels are removed at this point, and the mixture is placed in a clay pot (nyungu) to cook over a fire. After boiling, the cooked porridge is stored in a gourd (kinya), which is sealed with a dry ear of corn (muchakwe). This mixture is allowed to ferment for seven days, and is then served cold, typically in a dish made of half of a calabash gourd (kiihuri). The porridge has a smooth consistency and sweet and sour taste.   Ucuru wa mukio was traditionally prepared mainly for ceremonies among the Gikuyu community, including childbirth, bridewealth payments, harvest time and other special occasions. The traditional porridge was prepared mostly by women and consumed together by all people. It is used in the local proverb, nyoroku ta ucuru wa mukio, meaning “smooth like the traditional porridge.” It is estimated that today about 500 liters of the porridge is prepared annually in the areas connected to the Gikuyu community of central Kenya, such as Nyeri, Embu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, and Kiambuu. Ucuru wa mukio is made in homes for family and community consumption, not sold commercially.   Today, the introduction of machines for grinding flour changed traditional method of grinding flour for porridge. There has been commercialization of porridge flour and production of porridge flour using various grains besides maize such as millet, sorghum, and even tubers such as cassava and sweet potatoes. The new flours have resulted to the decline of production of the traditional porridge that is integrally linked to the local community. However, the new flours for porridge lack the unique taste and smooth consistency of ucuru wa mukio.

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Other info


Distilled and fermented beverages


Indigenous community:Gikuyu