Our WISE acronym—whole, informed, sustainable, experienced—applies also to coastal travel; in these few months in Kenya, I’m reporting on the availability of vegetables, fruits, and traditional fats.

Women preparing a meal in Kwale county, Kenya

Traditional fats for “coconut rice.”

The coconut water, coconut cream, and rice are heated over a coral frame fire with small pieces of wood. The rather large amount of coconut rice (shown right) is for a community building meeting.


After coconuts are harvested and split in half, the process begins by using a blade with sharp teeth (and a narrow sitting platform), called a Mbuzi, to scrape the coconut flesh from the shell, which is now ready to be squeezed through the woven coconut strainer, a Kifumbu.

In this picture, the woman is holding the tubular-shaped Kifumbu.

Squeezing releases the coconut cream. The Kifumbu is then rinsed with water.

The sufuria (cooking pot) in the background contains the husked coconut, in the middle is the watery liquid resulting from rinsing the Kifumbu after squeezing out the cream, and, in the foreground—the coconut cream.

Meanwhile, the rice (grown close to the local river, the Ramisi) has been rinsed. The rinse water is heated in a very large cooking pot, and the rice and coconut cream are added.

The coconut rice is covered with banana leaves to retain some moisture while cooking (shown in left image).

The feast today (a meal at the community building in Kwale county) also includes some delicious Tafi (Rabbit) fish—rich in minerals and fats.


Potatoes in cooked tomato, Ramisi coconut rice, Tafi fish

For traditional vegetables, see https://alliancebioversityciat.org/stories/traditional-vegetables-recognized-unesco-kenya.

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