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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Legends Abound About the Marula Tree Fruit and Oil

Marula the African Fruit That Gets Elephants Drunk

Marula fruit oil
The South African marula fruit and oil is edible and loved by humans and animals, especially the warthog, elephant, waterbuck, giraffe and kudu all eat the fruit, nut and leaves of the tree.
Peeling the marula fruit to separate the kernel, for the oil, and the pulp in South Africa.

Legends Abound About the Marula Tree Fruit and Oil


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Legends abound on the multiple uses of the marula tree bark, leaves, fruits, nuts, oil and kernels.


South African marula fruit
For centuries throughout Southern and Eastern Africa women in the have cracked the nut of the marula fruit to extract the precious kernels from which the oil is made. 

Traditional uses of marula include putting baked nuts into foods as a spice, over meat as a natural preservative, and in using oil from the kernels to soften the skin. The chambers of the marula nut are opened to reveal soft kernels. These kernels are then gathered into a pressing machine, where they are hand-pressed to make the magic of marula oil.


The Marula tree have a specific gender, this fact contributes to the belief among the South African Venda people that bark infusions can be used to determine the gender of an unborn child. If a woman wants a son the male tree is used, and for a daughter, the female tree. If the child of the opposite gender is born, the child is said to be very special as it was able to defy the spirits.
Marula is a much loved fruit in the grasslands of Africa

Most well known as the fruit that elephant’s eat to get tipsy, when ripe marula fruit drops to the ground it becomes deliciously fermented. Marula fruit apparently has intoxicating effect when consumed in large quantities by large mammals such as elephants. Elephants can eat between 400-700 marula fruit a day and if young elephant eat nothing else this can lead to tipsy behavior.

Marula is a much loved fruit in the grasslands of Eastern and Southern Africa. The fruits can be found from Ethiopia to Southern Africa’s’ Kwazulu-Natal. The Marula fruit is juicy and sweet-smelling and is the size of a small plum. The fruit may be eaten fresh or cooked into jam, juices and alcoholic beverages; the flesh is very high vitamin C.

Anna Nyathi shares dish of corn and marula kernels in Belfast Mpumalanga Province South Africa.

Humans enjoy marula fruit as well in the form of cream liqueur. Amarula is a cream liqueur from South Africa made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree. 





One popular recipe is Amarula Brown Elephant



South African Amarula Brown Elephant Recipe
2 ounces Amarula Cream
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup Coca-Cola

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