Knowledge for Development

Kram-kram is the edible and highly nutritious grain

Author:

Date: 28/07/2014

Introduction:

Kram-kram (cram-cram) is the edible and highly nutritious grain from Cenchrus biflorus, a perennial grass. The grain is rich in protein and has perhaps the highest calorie content of any grain, but today it is only collected when the harvests of other grains are insufficient to feed the community. The Tuareg people in Mali traditionally collect Kram-kram as a wild cereal. To be used, the seeds need to be hulled in a mortar, extracting the white grain from its spiny covering. The grains can be pounded and eaten raw, made into porridge, or mixed and cooked with other foods. During the rainy season, the plant can be harvested more than once. It can be preserved in traditional silos, where fermentation softens the spines enough so that it can be eaten by animals. Kram-kram grass grows very well in the sand and needs little water. Many more underused species for agriculture and food production can be found on the online database 'The Ark of Taste'.  

(Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, 2014)

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