Freetown, Baby!

Poyo by jc2010sl
May 11, 2010, 11:29 pm
Filed under: food - cooking | Tags:

I thought I had  already tasted the most revolting concontion available in Sierra Leone. I was wrong.

The other day I met a friend of a friend, a palm oil entrepreneur, at dinner. He had just come back from his plantation with him a bottle of Poyo – that is palm wine. It’s essentially sap tapped directly from a palm tree into a plastic drum and left to ferment “on the tree”. It’s then decanted into re-used plastic bottles for “retail” and served up as quickly as possible before it explodes.

The bubbles when you pour the stuff out are reminiscent of champagne, but there the similarities end. It truly is a foul drink – it smells like a combination of vomit and stale eggs and tastes only marginally better. It lingers long in the mouth, so that whatever you eat or drink for the next couple of hours is clouded by the repugnant taste.

My Dad often describes cheap wine as “rectified wood alcohol”. Having drunk non-rectified wood alcohol the phrase has a new resonance for me.


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