In the Sidama region of southern Ethiopia, rural residents preserve their traditional food, especially those produced from the “false banana” tree – false banana plants look just like their namesakes, only larger– 39 feet (12 m.) high, with leaves that are more erect, and inedible fruit — which is a perennial plant that grows on the Ethiopian highlands.

The residents of the southern regions of the region suffer from great difficulties in obtaining food, so they rely heavily on the products of banana trees, reports a local Arabic daily quoting Sky News Arabia.

“When the banana tree reaches four years of age, it becomes usable for food,” Evi Shaka, an activist in the Sidama national culture.

He added, “We cut off its leaves or roots, and they are pulled out with a sharp machine to produce wet flour, which is placed in a hole for up to twenty days for the purpose of fermentation.”

He went on to say, “After obtaining the appropriate dough, whose suitability for cooking can be known by the smell it secretes, the product is transferred to the kitchen, where the process of providing edible food takes place there.”

And because the means of entertainment and leisure are not available, the children gather to follow the food-making process, which may take hours, in huts that protect them from the cold weather.

It is noteworthy that although the traditional food of the rural population in the south of the country depends largely on banana trees, there are many foods produced from animal sources.

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