You Can Make Wine From Bananas — And These Ugandan Women Have Mastered the Craft


You Can Make Wine From Bananas — And These Ugandan Women Have Mastered the Craft

While Americans are busy turning bananas into smoothies and "ice cream", a group in Uganda is working to transform the fruit into wine. 

Several female banana growers joined together to form a company called Tida Wines, adapting their talents to become banana vintners, TakePart reported. The women make the wine by boiling ripe, peeled bananas with water, adding yeast and sugar to the mixture, then allowing it all to ferment and age for a year. Once the process is over, it's high time to get drunk off bananas (Here's a recipe for how to make your own). 

The invention serves as a solution to the country's greater banana problem. A whole 75% of farmers in Uganda grow bananas, TakePart reported, which has lead to excess in the fruit's harvest. While plenty of banana stock sounds like a good thing, the overproduction causes greater competition, decreased prices and waste. "It's a common problem across Africa," TakePart wrote, "where the cost of transporting crops to market is often more expensive than letting them rot."

Tida Wines has been incredibly successful, thanks in part to the big drinking market in Uganda. The country has the "highest alcohol consumption on the continent," according to TakePart, and it leads East Africa when it comes to alcohol consumption. Uganda's fondness of booze was even the subject of a Vice documentary titled The Drunkest Place on Earth. 

Plus, Ugandans already use bananas to party, in the form of banana beer. The product is sold in Europe and parts of the United States, but it is a staple in East Africa. The beer is different from the wine in that it is only fermented for 18 to 24 hours before being filtered and consumed. 

The banana wine first hit the market about eight years ago, but it's become exponentially popular over the past three years. Now, the masterminds behind Tida Wines are hoping to expand beyond its current market in southern Uganda. The company wants to get its product into supermarkets and bars across the country and, eventually, permeate wine stores worldwide.

If all goes well, perhaps we'll all be making wine slushes with banana wine next summer. 

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