Greetings All and Sundry! Once again we've back with interesting contest brought by @ecency-star for all to participate. For those of us who haven't yet read, it's all about showcasing our traditional drinks. You can read it here
Any time a contest is posted to share something about our tradition I become so excited 😊😆 since we don't often get chance to express our real culture, identity and history which identifies each Country or society. To my opinion, this is the time to portray my rich culture as far as my traditional drinks are concerned.
Without wasting much time, let's go straight to my traditional drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. As far as @ecency-star has given room tell more about our traditional drinks, it doesn't matter whether I know how to drink or not. So I would like to blend those that are found in my country, those that I know how to drink or don't know how to drink and even both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ones.
When you happen to tour here in Ghana there are many drinks that you would find; those that contain alcohol and those that are alcoholic free. I tell you!, when you want to get the original alcohol, undiluted one for your medicinal purpose or any other purpose, then apart from Ghana, I bet you'll never get one. One can ask why? For the most of the powerful alcoholic beverage comes from plants extract and since our land is very fertile to support plant growth, we have most of our drinks which were distilled or extracted from plants like palm tress, maizes, pineapple, sugar cane, sobolo plants and many others that I've forgotten their names.
The first drink which we produce in my country that I would like to talk about is "Pito which is extracted from maize grains." This is one of my favorites drinks, not because I drink for intoxication,Lol 😂. I like "pito" due to some magical healing power of fever. The drink get rid of fever very quickly. So, I use to suck some with friends during holidays and weekends.
I was with a friend sucking "pito" at pito bar
Similar to pito is what we call "Wolewanwo" which is also manufactured from maize grain. The difference between "pito" and "wolewanwo" is that, for this one it doesn't contain any alcoholic content. The alcoholic content is 0% and it's very nutritious. They often sell at market place. I spotted one at our local market square. I approached and requested for $0.5 in white polythene bag.
Like I said, "pito" is made from maize. The fact that it's able to produce high alcoholic content depends on how the beverage is prepared. For most drinks when they are fermented would produce alcohol.The preparation begins with soaking the maize grains in water for some days. When they are fermented, they drain the water away and dry the fermented maize. The grains are then milled. Before they will make the drink, some substances are mixed as additive to increase the alcoholic content. The Pito manufacturers put some plant which increase the concentration of the alcohol. As more of that plant products added, the more it increases the alcoholic content. So, they have grades of "pito," those that are soft and high alcoholic content. For me, I prefer the soft one.
Where to get quality "pito" drinks?
It's noted that Northern part of Ghana geographically are well vested in making "pito." This is simply due to the fact that most of cereals are produced here. The area is predominantly noted to produce large quantities of maizes, millet, rice, sorghum and guinea corn. Due to this, there was the need to convert some of the cereal by-products into usable purposes.
The "pito" drink isn't expensive as compare to other drinks since maizes are easy to produce every season. The "pito" drink is best taken in simple drinkable material like "Calabash" and "guard" which the middle mesocarp has been scooped and dried.
The second alcoholic drink produce in Ghana is **Palm wine."** This is the main drink which is distilled to produce our local gin ( akpeteshie). It's being studied that most of the drinks which is able to let people get intoxicated is the addition of "Akpeteshie." The raw palm wine has low alcoholic content. Because of it sweetness as if we've added sugar, I like taking it. I remember I have been taking some with friends during certain occasion.
Enjoying palm wine with friends during some gathering
The palm wine is extracted from palm tree when the palm wine tappers uproot the palm tree. The palm tree is left to lie about 3 weeks or even more than that. This is to allow the palm wire to ferment. The palm wine is then draw from the palm tree using local plant tube ( with a hole in it). The first one week of palm wine is very sweet, as time goes by the fermentation increases and this make the conc of the alcohol increases. But to get higher conc of alcohol from the palm wine, you need to use simple distillation method to extract the main alcohol from the water ( palm wine).
where is alcohol mostly found?
Palm wine and Akpeteshie is mostly found in the southern part of Ghana where there is excess rich of soil to support palm tree growth. So most of Akpeteshie is transferred from southern part to northern part and this very expensive due to transportation cost.
The lifestyle and the Akpeteshie
Come to most of our drinking bars, you will found this our local drink ( Akpeteshie). Especially in our villages where palm trees are easily found, palm wine tapping becomes a big time business, since that is the process through which Alcohol is being distilled for income. My worry is that most youth around where palm Akpeteshie is extracted have been spoiled through excessive drinking. As we know, high intake of alcohol can destroy your internal organs like lungs and intestines.
We have numerous fruits which are used for different kind of fruit juice drinks (Non-alcoholic beverage). You can check out our, multi fruit drinks like pineapple, banana, orange, apple and papaya.
These fruit drinks are sometimes taken as dessert or in addition to food we are eating. As we know, because of excess fibre most of these fruits contain they help to free our bowel and prevent constipation. Even though we have vast lands but we are unable to produce fruits in large quantities due to lack of machines for processing into fruit juice. It was just recently that "One District one factory was launch" which boost most farmers to produce pineapple and banana in large scale. I must say that only few people are able to afford buying multi fruit drinks like "Don Simon" which has been packaged in enclosed paper box. But, when it comes to natural fruit drinks which we can use blender to blend, only few people have time. Or I must say that many people don't have money to buy blender for blending and hence they don't bother taking fruit juice frequently.
Shampaine is one of the occasional soft drinks sold in Ghana. During Birthdays, parties or weddings, shampaines are served for friends and love ones. Some of the shampaines contain alcohol whiles others are alcohol free. Especially those that are served at parties and birthdays, contain no alcohol. Shampaines aren't drinks that are taken on the daily basis here in Ghana due to the purpose that they are used for and also the price also put many people off from buying. But, I personally use to buy some during my children birthdays.
A shop where I often buy soft drinks
I was taken shampaine at my kids birthday 🎂🎉
Even though we have other drinks that have long been sold here in Ghana like Guinness, Whiskey, Brandy, Golder and many other alcoholic drinks. We also have our locally modified alcoholic drinks that have been mixed with other herbs. But, the one I occasionally take is **Club beer** which contain about 2.0% alcohol. After getting just one bottle of my Club beer, I feel ok for the day. Many Ghanaians prefer taken different alcoholic drinks at weekends after hard week days work in order to get the body relaxed.
Many people have different reasons of taken alcoholic drinks overdose. To some people, it's the means to relief them from stress and anxieties for instance if they have problems in their marital issues. To some people it's their social habit and peer pressure which had led them become addicted. Well, I have many things to talk about my traditional drinks but as I keep saying more and more it makes the reading becomes boring too. So, I'll pauses here a take a breathe. Thank you for your attention and time.