Street Food: Groundnuts in all possible ways

Peanuts are one of the most popular street foods in The Gambia, after Ebbeh. They are the main cash crop in the Gambia, which is also amongst the most exported goods. Peanuts are grown all year round. However, the high season is around October to January. In the Gambia, the peanut is generally called groundnut. Mandinkas call it tii o, and the Wollof tribe calls it gérte.
Peanuts are utilised for different purposes in the Gambia, from health remedies, beauty products, and food. Several recipes such as Mbahal, Churra Gerte, Domoda contain peanuts. Around June, producers prepare their farms to cultivate peanuts during the rainy season. When the rain stops in October, the harvesting of the peanuts begins. Part of the crop is dried and stored for the future to make peanut paste or peanut powder for mbahal and churra gerte. It is also processed into different types of snacks and sold on the street. Most of the women in the country make a living out of the peanut street food.
Gérte Haran:
like its name, Haran means raw. One can buy it anywhere on the street or in the markets, especially in October, the high harvesting season. It can be sold with the hulls, which is the favourite choice of people since this ensures the groundnut has just been harvested or it can be already peeled. It can be found with the women selling on small tables by the side of the road or with men pushing wheelbarrows full of fresh peanuts. You can also see the dried groundnut being sold in small bags. The cost ranges from D5 for small bags to D200 for bigger pots.
Gérte Saaf:
is a roasted peanut. It is roasted with or without the hull. When roasted with the shell, it is first washed and dried and then roasted in clean sand. When roasted without the hull, it is soaked in water for a few minutes and salted, then put in the sun until it is dry and roasted using clean sand. The sand is placed in a flat pot called the ˝paul˝ and put on fire.

When the sand is hot enough, the peanuts are added and stirred until it is crunchy. Then a sieve is used to separate the sand and the peanuts. In the end, it is put in small bags or containers. Sometimes the thin skin is removed for those who would prefer the peanut without it. This type of snack price ranges from D5 to D10 per small bag and D25 to D50 per container.
Gérte Sukurr
stands for peanuts coated with sugar. The raw peanut is removed from the shell, washed and dried in the sun. After that, it is boiled with a small amount of water (or milk) and a lot of sugar until it turns brown and the water evaporates. After cooling down, it becomes crunchy and very delicious.
Gérte Ginger
is similar to the gérte sukurr but slightly different because of the ginger added to the mixture of water/milk and sugar. Some people like it because they believe it’s very healthy, others just because ginger adds a bit of spiciness to the taste.
Gérte Bahaal
is the boiled groundnut. This type is not available all year round because only the freshly harvested groundnut can be boiled, salted, and sold. Groundnuts are cooked and sold with the hulls.
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