Irvingia gabonensis excelsa (Mildbr.) Okafor
Irvingia excelsa is a large tree growing up to 40 metres tall, the bole having buttresses up to 3 metres tall[
The edible seed is harvested from the wild and used locally.
Western tropical Africa - Cameroon and Gabon to the Congo.
Forest, on dry ground[
A variable species in size and shape of its leaves[
The endosperm and cotyledons are cooked and eaten[
]. The seeds are 28 - 60 mm long, 17 - 40 mm wide, 3.5 - 6 mm thick with a copious endosperm[
The kernels from the fruit are an important ingredient in cooking. They are processed by grinding and crushing, and are then used to thicken soups and stews. The kernels are also made into a cake called 'dika bread' or 'odika bread' for year-round preservation and easy use[
The preparation of 'dika bread' consists of drying, roasting and grinding the kernels. The paste obtained is put in a container or 'cake tin' and left to cool for a few hours. Once solid, the cake is removed from the container and is ready for use. If well dried, it can be stored for more than a year. Sometimes women place a tin below the grid on which the dika cake is stored, to collect the oil that drips from it[
The pulp of the fruit is hard, stiff-fibrous and inedible[
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