These beauties are the dried fruit of the Aridan tree, known in Ghana as Prekese. I bought them in Brixton Market. I'm so lucky to have easy access to Ghanaian fruit and veg. The latin name is Tetrapleura tetraptera. As well as being used in cooking, the fruit is known for its medicinal, anti-inflammatory properties and used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, high-cholesterol and more. Mosquitoes don't like the smell of Prekese, so consuming it regularly acts as a natural repellent!
The fruit pods are hard, like dried leather, with four distinctive, wing-like ridges. I made a tonic with them by first washing and breaking into quarters, then boiling for about 30 minutes with some cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. The smell and taste are like vanilla; the colour of the liquid, amber. After a few days it ferments slightly, creating a more tangy flavour.
I'm Virginia and I run Goodness. I'm slightly obsessed with raw cacao and the medicinal properties of food, which runs in the blood (there are herbalists, nurses and farmers in my family). I'll be posting about chocolate, healing foods, thoughts, recipes and experiments.