Thursday, March 3, 2011

Maya Nuts in Managua

By Nancy Wagner, CTI Director of Development Programs

I learned something new and wonderful today at a gathering of Nicaraguan mission groups: there is a truly healthy “chocolate” in the world. It’s cleverly disguised as a Maya Nut or Ojoche and is extremely high in Fiber, Calcium, Potassium, Folate, Iron, Zinc, Protein and Vitamins A, E, C and B. A wonderful Nicaraguan woman roasted up some of these glorious nuts and then we ground them in the brand new Ewing IV grinder (coming in April!) and you would swear you were looking at and smelling the finest of cocoa powders. The Ewing IV did such a fabulous job on the nuts that the woman grinding grinned and said, “I want one of these!” Making maya nut powder to sell is a great microenterprise opportunity and CTI’s grinders will process the nuts quickly and efficiently. 

After the demonstration we were all served drinks made from the maya nut powder, milk and a little sugar and it was delightfully, healthfully delicious. I’m told the powder makes amazing chocolate flavored cookies as well as soups, cakes, breads and other tasty treats.

Homemade corn tortillas cooked on a highly efficient wood burning stove with a wide assortment of fillings was today’s lunch/feast. Nicaraguans are some of the warmest, kindest people I have ever met and their food is terrific. Great food, great company, great sustainable development work. Tomorrow we will visit two of Fabretto’s sites, looking forward to seeing the kids.