Garri also known as cassava flakes is a popular and staple food in every Nigerian home. It can be consumed in two major forms, either you drink it with sugar, groundnut, fried fish or as some would prefer salt or you make it into eba with hot water. These are the most popular ways to consume garri, though there are other ways which differs from region to region, culture to culture, amongst other methods.
I took a trip to Ori Ire Local Government in Oyo State where garri making is a common trade. Due to financial constraint a proper mechanized garri factory can not be afforded by the community so they have to construct most of the machinery that they use.
The factory is more like a courtyard with an open space where the different process takes place from the beginning to the end.
The whole processactually starts in the farm where the cassava is harvested. It is always a good yield for the farmers if they can get bulky and goos cassava compared to the skinny ones which turns out to be more stressful to peel.
There is a constructed grinder which grinds th cassava, which is then bagged and put on the press to squeeze out the acidic water. The bags can stay a few hours while some allows it to stay a few days. Ever wondered why garri Ijebu always have that sour taste that we all love, it’s because it’s left under the press for two to three days.
How long you leave it under the press determines how sour it will feel but the dryness is dependent on how long it is fried.
There is no wastage in the production of Garri, the peels are dried and used as animal meals especially goats.
Do watch this video to see a bit of how the garri we all eat in our house is produced.