Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Farine anyone

Sometime last week I tweeted that Farine is another food of Champions. Somehow I assumed that farine was a well known staple throughout the Caribbean. However a fellow blogger shot off a tweet asking what was farine. Since then I have asked asked some other Jamaican friends if they are familiar with farine but none seem to know what I 'm talking about.

For the record Farine is a by product of cassava. Cassava is harvested when it is mature and and scraped to remove the skin. It is then washed thoroughly before it is ground by the cassava mill. Aloma Williams writing for says The ground cassava is then removed or “bailed out with calabashes” - small bowls made from the hollowed-out shell of the fruit from the calabash tree -and transferred in manageable portions into a sack, in which the liquid is wrung out. This drier material is called meal and this is what is used to eventually make farine.

The liquid which is squeezed out is caught in buckets and later put to evaporate in the sun.It's now time to get down to the real farine production. While much attention was being paid to the cassava, other essential tasks were taking place in the background. The copper in which the meal is baked had to be made ready and this included getting it hot. A wood fire was lit under the copper itself and wood fed into it at intervals to ensure that the copper maintains the right temperature to bake the meal into farine.For the salt or original farine, the meal is dished into the hot copper with a bit of salt and stirred vigorously for about half an hour, until it forms into minute, hard grains.For the sweet farine the ingredients make the difference; with a bit of sugar and various spices replacing the salt.

So any Jamaicans know what I'm talking about?

What's Cassava?

With all the isms going on in Vincyland; you could have gone the way of highlighting those isms. Instead, you choose this most refreshing topic,farine.

Thanks for that tutorial on the making of farine. My grandma used to make her own farine;but the process had faded from my memory and so it was enlightening reading this blog.

Interesting that you will write about farine; I just got a couple packs recently from Vincyland sent by my mom...Those American cereals got nothing on farine...some warm milk and added sugar to taste and mmmmmm!!!..lol.

I think you need to send a couple packs of farine for your Jamaican friends; they are missing out on one of life simple pleasures.

Let me go and warm up some milk...

man i miss me some Farine....

here you Go a pict of it... you can google it and find a description..

heard my mother talking about it as a yout growing up but the days of Farine and anything cassava related long done in Bim. sadly!
I fraid Sue so no isms and schisms for me.

Glad you guys liked it
farine ... that sounds like the meal they use to make bammyt=
Interestingly, farine is a staple in West African diets. There it is called "gari" and it is eaten in many ways.

It is eaten as a snack food (mixed with sugar) or eaten as a carbohydrate in meals with stewed fish or meat. Here it is called "garifoto". Water is placed over the farine to soften it and then stew is poured over it and it is eaten.

it is also cooked with spices and pepper and eaten with with stew.

As someone who grew up with farine and milk on mornings in the Caribbean, it was fascinating to me to find out that it is a staple in the West African diet.

And can you believe that they have developed and now manufacture small mills in West Africa that mechanize the production of "gari" from cassava?

Apparently, the significance of 'gari' in the local diet made it a feasible project.

Smile...just thought I would throw that in the pot, so to speak.
Very interesting tidbit Kathy. Looks like they are way ahead of us with the establishment of mills on a national level. Some one told me that Egypt's national dish is something quite similar to callalloo.Seems we are really alike:)
tres interessant, merci
Just bought some at the Supermarket in Bim (product of Ghana) after a co-worker kept going on about how good it is... about to try it out...
tell us how you found it @anonymous
I am from Trinidad and Tobago. I grew up making farine with my grandmother and mother.. By making I mean watching them make.. Hard work but so worth it . To this day when my Mom asks me what she can send me from him my first response is almost always farine .
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