At my grand old age I’m still seeing new things and learning new “stuff.”
I’d seen these trees about the city, not many, but enough to know that this one wasn’t the only one.
I didn’t know what it was called, nor what it gave. I stopped at the base of one, where the security guard was dozing in the afternoon sunshine, and asked him about the tree.
He assured me they weren’t indigenous to Mauritania, but they are widely spread in Senegal. When I consider I’m only a couple of hundred km’s from the border its unlikely they needed a passport to cross over.
They give fruit these trees, a fruit I’d not seen before coming to this country. I’m assured that its edible.
Its about the size of a conker, still in its case but flatter, like a flattened rugby ball. Its similar to a mango in construction, a large stone inside with flesh between that and the skin. I was shown how to eat it, skin and all, gnaw down against the nut, but gently as its quite soft, and if you eat it, you’re left with a bitter taste.
Hmmm, its an acquired taste I think, and in all honesty, not one I’m hoping to acquire any time soon.
There is no name for it in Mauritania, as its not a local tree, but in Hassaniya (a Senegalese language) its called the “white man’s peanut.” No idea where that came from for now, my research continues.