The Extraction of Palm Wine

To witness the extraction of palm wine you have to board a dugout canoe that will take you to a completely different landscape. Similar to paddy fields, part of the Sangha River runs in meanders though a lush swampy area. It is here that is found the raffia palm trees. The extraction is carried out from standing palms and the sap flows for several hours into a container. A process of alcoholic fermentation immediately triggers, this diminishes the sugary taste and produces carbon dioxide. The end product is a pleasant drink that is reminiscent of the musty taste of wine.

In Bayanga, you can find "buvettes" (small bars) selling palm wine where you can taste the juice that has been fermenting for 5 to 10 hours. Palm wine rarely contains more than 4% alcohol and costs less than 10% of the price of commercially made beer. Moreover, it contains supplementary calories - vitamins, calcium and other important nutritional elements - always welcome bearing in mind the physically exhausting work that village men sometimes have to accomplish. Going to see the extraction of palm wine makes an interesting excursion that allows you to learn about a food element stemming straight from nature.