Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

Usoro, as it is called among the Giriama people that live in the Coast Province of southeastern Kenya, is a local food known to have been consumed by the forefathers of this community. To make this product, traditionally, green corn would be collected, put in a kinu (mortar) and smashed using a mchi (pestle). The resulting paste would be mixed with water, stirred and then the dregs separated. The resulting liquid is fermented for few days, with the final strenght depending on personal preferences. It is then cooked in a sufuria (an aluminum pot) until it is ready, at which point it is put into an earthen pot to cool down. After cooling, it is considered ready for consumption. The product is white like coconut milk and it is also said to be bitter in flavor.

Usoro used to be consumed during long journeys. Ancestros from the Giriama community used to prepare usoro and put it in a gourd to be brought along and consumed during their journeys. Usoro was also prepared and consumed during pre-wedding ceremonies and during harvesting. It is only made for personal or community use, and not sold commercially. However, today many young people do not know what usoro is or how to prepare it due to the influx of readily available foods and products that have been introduced from other areas. If the tradition of making this product is not passed on to the next generation, it could be lost from Giriama culture

Back to the archive >




Other info



Indigenous community:Giriama (Mijikenda)