Shea Butter: History, Culture, and Use. History and Legend. “ From the Meroe Kingdom and Ibn Batouta to Mungo Park, it seems that all of western Africa stood in the shade of the karité, or shea butter tree, for many centuries. ”. History and Legend.
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“From the Meroe Kingdom and Ibn Batouta to Mungo Park, it seems that all of western Africa stood in the shade of the karité, or shea butter tree, for many centuries.”
From the time the baby is welcomed to the world with a vigorous rub-down with shea butter to the dead king’s bed which is specially made from the noble trunk of the shea tree, village life moves to the rhythm of this sacred tree, as do the lives of its women.
Indeed, from July to December, all of women’s activities revolve around collecting the nuts in the bush, selling them in the market, and preparing the fruit from the tree to meet the family’s household and culinary needs throughout the year.
History and Legend
The natural antioxidant qualities of the shea nut allow this wild product to be stored.
The scientific name Butyrospermum parkii was given to the shea tree in honor of the great Scottish explorer Mungo Park, who was the first European to travel up the Gambia River in the late 18th century.
The Negro slave-merchants, who besides slaves, bring to sell to the whites, and supply the inhabitants of the maritime districts with native iron, sweet-smelling gums and frankincense, and a commodity called shea-toulou which, literally translates to shea butter.
“The people were everywhere employed in collecting the fruit of shea trees, from which they prepare the vegetable butter.
These trees grow in great abundance all over this part of Bambara.
They are not planted by the natives, but are found growing naturally in the woods; and in clearing woodland for cultivation, every tree is cut down but the shea.
16 processing steps of hard work
2. Start collectionbefore the fruits begin to germinate.
3. Collect only fruits that have fallen down, because they are mature.
Handle the fruits carefully
1. After collection, remove the pulp manually (maximum delay is 3 days after collection).
2. Washthe nuts.
1. The traditional method of crushing the shea nuts is with a mortar and pestle.
2. Course ground powder (ready for toasting) can be obtained this way with no problems
The coarsely crushed shea powder is grilled slightly to decrease their moisture content.
The length of toasting/grilling depends on the existing moisture content of the powder.
The existing moisture content of the powder is judged by the texture – if granules easily separate or not.
Use a mechanical grinder to obtain a fine, thick nut paste.
Generally, the finer the particles, the higher the extraction yield.
Put a small quantity of water in cooking pan and then heat the emulsion. The end of the heating is determined when white foam forms on the surface of the liquid oil.
After cooling, the oil is filtered several times.
Labeling and packaging should be attractive to consumers and should indicate:
HOW DO AFRICAN PEOPLE USE THE TREE BUTTER THAT BRAVE YOUNG MUNGO PARK DESCRIBED OVER 200 YEARS AGO?
The butter or oil is used to treat:
The nut meal is used to:
The remaining black residue is used to:
The inferior Shea Butter is used to:
Shea Nuts and Butter are used:
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