#BlackHistoryEats / Day 22 / Dika Nuts
- Dika nuts are West African nuts/seeds that come from the wild mango tree (Irvingia gabonensis) also known as African mango, bush mango, dika, or ogbono
- These trees--which can grow as tall as 130 feet!--produce fruit that are very similar to mango (Mangifera). Some parts of continental Africa eat the fruit (i.e. Nigeria and Angola), but a vast majority of countries eat the seed/nut
- Dika nuts are often traded in West Africa because of how widely they are used in cooking and other purposes; they are considered a cash crop
- Dika nuts are difficult to harvest. The fruit must be cracked open one by one with a machete! Students from a Obafemi Awolowo University even developed a table device for making the harvesting less strenuous.
- Dika nuts are especially known for being health fats and a high source of protein
- Seeds are also a great source of potassium and calcium
- Dika has been used medicinally in many parts of Africa. Some tribes in Sierra Leone use the bark as a pain reliever
- Dika seeds are also 60% oil -- the oil is often used in making soaps
- Dika nuts taste similar to cashews and can be eaten raw or roasted
- They are often ground up into a paste and mixed with various spices and used as a thickening agent in West and Central African cuisine.
- Ground dika nut paste (also known as Gabon chocolate) is the main ingredient in ogbono soup (they are sometimes called "ogbono seeds" for this reason)
- Here's a recipe from Nigeria Vegan Kitchen for a vegan version of ogbono soup!