Uganda – the Banana Republic of Africa

Posted by on December 20, 2012

Uganda grows more Bananas than any other African Country

Uganda is Africa’s Banana Republic- more Bananas are grown and consumed here in the Pearl of Africa per capita than anywhere else

Uganda-the-Banana-Republic-of-the-African-ContinentEverywhere you look, everywhere you turn, there you will encounter Bananas of one kind or another.  In many regions of Uganda Bananas are used at most every meal and prepared in various manners.  Uganda grows more Bananas in the world with the exception of India.  Uganda is truly a  Banana Republic and definitely the  Banana Republic of Africa.  Most Ugandans in the central area of Uganda do not store food inside of their homes, aside from salt, oil, sugar, tea, most Ugandans simply go the Garden and cut down some Matooke Bananas – they actually fell that plant with the fruit on it in order to take it down and in due season you will see a fresh green stalk growing up replacing the one that was cut down.

Uganda produces almost Nine million tons of bananas in a year and when it comes to world production it is only vast India that exceeds the small country of Uganda in the production of bananas – Uganda is truly Africa’s Banana Republic that is not said in a disparaging manner, but because but this comparatively small country grows an abundance of Bananas and consumes most of them in one manner or another. The average Ugandan eats from 750 grams to 1 kilo of Bananas per day mostly of the Matooke Variety which are cooking bananas(steamed-boiled mashed and served with meat, fish chicken-peanut sauce, etc),  they also consume quantities of sweet eating bananas and roasted bananas over a charcoal fires – simply said “Uganda is a True Banana Republic.” If you come to Uganda and do not taste its various types Bananas or Banana dishes from cooked Matooke to Kabalagala Banana Pancakes, or a Gonja roasted Banana you have missed out on Authentic Uganda – the Banana Republic.

Travel most anywhere you will be amazed by the scenery and greenness of Uganda – no wonder it has been called the Evergreen State of East Africa.  Drive through the countryside and you will notice that much of what is green in the countryside are fields and fields of Bananas which are awash with its large, soft green leaves.  Bananas are a part of daily life for most Ugandans and that begins in the garden and continues to the kitchen and to the plate and Bananas of one kind or another maybe it be the finger sized or larger eating Bananas, the Gonja Roasting Bananas which are quite delicious and a snack anytime, and of course the mainstay of many Ugandan homes the green Matooke Bananas lastly there is exotic Red Bananas that you will find here and there.

Not only are Bananas used for food, but in the making of Waragi Gin, Juice and wine are made from Bananas, the leaves are used in cooking so that the matooke Bananas can steam or Banana leaves are used to cover food and even wrap food in the leaves for cooking even the famous Luwombo Chicken Dish.

Various crafts that you find at Art and Crafts markets throughout Kampala and beyond are made from dried banana leaves, baskets, bags,mats, egg containers and even greetings cards are made from dried Banana Leaves.  Banana leaves are also used to create shelters to protect from the rains, leaves are wound into a circle so that one can carry loads on one’s head – the list is simply endless.

Uganda – Africa’s Banana Republic awaits you and you have not visited Uganda unless you have eaten Bananas in the Pearl of Africa-Enjoy Uganda-from Kampala…jon

“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” John Hemingway – African Journeys



Jon Blanc

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