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About Marula - The Nut

Origins | The Tree | The Fruit | The Nut | The Kernel

Each marula fruit yields a nut stone, a hard, light brown, smooth oval-shape containing 2 to 3 embryos 1 to 1.5 cm in length. The nuts hold the magic of marula: the kernel. Eaten raw, or roasted, they have a delicious taste and are regarded as a delicacy.

Extraction of these magical kernels is no easy feat. Considerable practice is needed to ensure that thumbs are not cracked along with the nut!

Cracking of the nuts on a stone slab, known as 'decortication,' can be done using one hard stone against the nut. Once the nut is cracked, the kernel is extracted. Hand extraction is skilled and fairly arduous, taking about 24 working hours to fill an 800-gram tin with nuts.

Dried nuts often strung together in a necklace that traditionally symbolize love. Nuts are used to cure children under four if when their noses are blocked. It is also believed that a necklace of dried nuts on a child will prevent diseases such as diarrhoea, or that a heated nut rubbed on a child's knees, will help a child who is having trouble walking to learn to walk.


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