g-nuts, cassava, and jackfruit

I'm betting no one else in blog-history has ever had a post title of "g-nuts, cassava, and jackfruit". If you know of someone who has, please let me know about them. I want to meet this person. For they will certainly know of the glorious bounty of Uganda's beautiful countryside. And we could bond over our appreciation and admiration of that wonderful land.

G-nuts is short for ground-nuts. And ground-nuts is awfully similar to our peanuts.  So similar, in fact, that it is the very same thing!  Connie, the head-mistress of the Buloba school came along on our water-harvester installation travels and showed up at the second house we went to---with peanuts (g-nuts) in her hand!  She had picked some (or rather, pulled some) for us, thinking that we Americans did not know about such tastiness.  But we (mainly just me) leapt up enthusiastically to partake in one of my favorite treats---raw peanuts!  I dug in, only to reprimanded by Connie for using my fingers to dig out the nuts.  "No, no. You do it wrong," she said.  "The way you do it you get germs."  Ahhhh.  I see, Connie!  No, I don't want those nasty germs or *gasp* a dreaded parasite!
And since Connie clued me in to the proper way to eat them, I will share my knowledge with you, so you will never find yourself being reprimanded by a head-mistress for eating ground nuts the wrong way.  Since I would never wish that upon you, I will divulge this (formerly unbeknownst to me) correct method.  It's the right thing to do.

You see, the proper way to eat a Ugandan g-nut is to use your teeth to remove the nuts from the shell.  I wish I could say it was a cinch, but apparently my teeth are not very talented.  And I was getting way behind on eating the g-nuts.  Everyone else seemed to have teeth with skills and the g-nut pile was rapidly decreasing while I painstakingly worked on my one.  So naturally, being the virtuous and reputable person that I am, whenever Connie wasn't looking I rapidly ate the nuts the way I was used to/ best at... with my hands!  Shh, don't tell!  I did have the presence of mind, in all my dishonest frenzied eating, to think that after I got a parasite from eating the g-nuts in this manner, the truth would be known: I am a greedy g-nut devourer!  Shameful, isn't it?  But, man, they were so yummy.  I was willing to risk a parasite for the sweetest peanuts I had ever tasted.

I may live to regret writing these things. So, uh...

How 'bout we just get to the pictures?

This is where we were.

Meet Connie! Who arrived bearing gifts!

G-nuts!  a.k.a ground-nuts.  a.k.a peanuts.

Now, meet some of the kiddos who were at the second house we visited that day!

Meet one of the ten thousand chickens (give or take a few) that reside in Uganda.

Meet some pigs.
Then Connie started telling us about this root. It's called a cassava root. And apparently it's yummy and nutritious. In order to unearth it, she walked through the bush beside the house and then started manhandling a skinny, yet rather tall, tree.  Surprised, we watched as she pushed and pulled the tree over and then used this knife to cut off the edible part of the root.

Then she asked us if we had eaten jackfruit! We informed her that we had not. So Connie set right to fixing that!  She called Gideon over (meet: Gideon) and he shimmied up the tree in a few short seconds, intent on his mission of finding the perfect jackfruit for us Americans to taste. Connie definitely took it upon herself to ensure that we were able to experience as many Ugandan edibles as possible.

Can you believe this tree?  Can you believe this fruit?  Can you believe this fruit is actually hanging on this tree?  I felt like I was in a danger zone every time I walked near them.  I just knew I was going to be Chicken-Little, except I had a feeling the outcome would leave me perhaps a little more permanently dazed and confused.

With lots of guidance coming from his fellow Ugandans who were still on solid ground, Gideon searched for the perfect jackfruit, knocking on the sides of the fruit and listening for just the right sound to reveal that it was properly ripe.  Then Gideon twisted the jackfruit (like you do to the stem of an apple) and the chosen one fell with a huge crash to the ground... And remained unscathed, unbroken, and unbruised!  Jackfruit is a lot more tough than our watermelons!  At one point, Gideon was even using the jackfruit to stand on while he climbed up the tree.

Great job, thank you Gideon!

Time to eat!

First banana leaves were laid on the ground to protect the fruit from the ever-prevalent red dirt.

After cutting it into wedges, our jackfruit chef wiped the each wedge with those leaves (see them stacked up beside her?) that were first dipped in a bowl of water, in order to remove some of the stickiness of the fruit. 
 Some curious visitors wandered over to see what all the commotion was about.

And this guy graciously offered his front yard for the jackfruit tasting (and rain-catch installing).

So here it is, this formidable-looking fruit called jackfruit. Basically, you pull off a small piece, throw out the seed, and then eat the layers that remain.

See the layers? You eat those.
It was chewy. With a pina-colada flavor.  Uhhh, it was pretty delish.

I could have eaten a lot of those little pieces.  We all could have.  It was like candy.  But David informed us that it would be in our best interest to not eat a lot of pieces. Why?  Well, the way he explained it, it seems that once this fruit gets in your belly it puffs up and expands and makes you start really regretting the day you first heard tell of this enormous yellow fruit.   David said that since he had been eating jackfruit his whole life, he could eat a whole jackfruit.  A whole one!!??   

This little guy also had the stomach of steel apparently needed to partake in fruits that blow up like a balloon once consumed.

Despite our wimpy stomachs, the Ugandans still loved us.

the end.

Just kidding.
It is not the end.  I have so much more to share.  But I promise to be a little quicker about getting these posts done. You know that little thing called Life?  Work?  Oh, you do? Yeah, it usually derails my best-laid plans for blogging... and pretty much everything else I aspire to accomplish during off-hours.  Oh, you know about this too?  Well rest assured, dear understanding and empathetic audience, that I shall not let it defeat my posting goals.  

til next time, 


  1. I'm going to have to do a post with those pics just so I can use that title lol... no, guessing you are the only one. Love the shots, I totally agree, I'm having an impossible time trying to get through all my shots and post them with any speedy time frame because of that thing called life :)

    Keep going, great stuff here :)

  2. thanks scott! i've been enjoying following your blog as well. excellent photos! there is just so much to share, isn't there?