Oil Bean

(Pentaclethra macrophylla) One of the sacred trees of West Africa. As Talbot points out, in Nigeria, nearly every compound has its sacred tree, usually Chlorophora excelsa, but often a Pentaclethra. The souls of the dead live in these trees while awaiting re-incarnation.

The long pods explode loudly when they open, and the beans, known as oil-seeds, produce up to about 45% oil from the kernels, rich in protein, but poor in starch. They are eaten after roasting, more as a condiment than a staple food.

Olea europaea > OLIVE

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