Around the beehivehuts of the Dorze people you can find enset plantations. Enset (Musa ensete) or the false-banana tree is a old banana tree, that is past bearing fruits.
The Dorze people have a special custom to use these false-bananas. Nowhere in Africa you can find these customs. They scrape the bast to to remove all fibre and gather the stuff to prepare a kind of bread.
At the picture you can see the wooden board, used for the scraping and making of a kind of white pulp.
During our visit to a compound in one of the villages of the Dorze people, a woman showed us the different stages of preparing banana-bread of the bast of the false-banana tree, called enset. It is a laborious process
After scraping the bast she showed us, how she made pulp of it by chopping and beating, using a wooden board and a small bamboo trunk.
And as you can imagine, for the underlay she uses large banana leaves .
Fermenting the enset pulp
After the Dorze woman showed us how she made the pulp of the enset, she wrapped the pulp in the banana-leaves
She brought us to the corner of her compound, where she buried the wrapped new pulp of the enset or false-banana in an underground pit for the process of fermentation. She showed us also the earlier buried wrapped enset pulp in different stages of fermentation.
I tried a bit of the most fermented stuff. It looked like dough and tasted like unleavened bread with a slight flavour of banana or maybe that was only imagination.
The Dorze people eat the ''banana-bread'' as staple. They can also make a chewy porridge of it. Enset can be stored for more than ten years.
Like everywhere in Africa, you see also in Ethiopia women pounding grain, plantain or cassave.
At the restaurant of our campsite annex hotel in Arba Minch we saw this woman pounding.
It was very special, because I didn't expect, because all the food you could order was western style.
She asked us to try it. It's not an easy job, I knew allready. I like the way how they do it, especially with two together, in a very fast and energetic rhythm.