HISTORY: A light years past, a friend of my direct paternal forbears suggested they slice ripe plantain into petty little chunks, season with natural spices and fry in oils. They handed this skill down to us, proudly.
Kelewele is simply seasoned ripe plantain fried in hot oils for our tasting pleasure. Now, you know how where to purchase your Kelewele and possibly got 2 or more spots on your street, but what you didn’t know is The Art of Purchasing Kelewele.
The Art of Purchasing Kelewele holds simple answers to unasked questions by the consumer. To master this art, one must answer questions to What Makes the Best Kelewele Raw Material? Is The Kelewele scooped or counted? What time does the Kelewele seller operate?
🙄 WHAT MAKES THE BEST KELEWELE RAW MATERIAL?
Over a few weeks, I’ve studied plantain and came to the realization that mother was right after all: plantain is sweeter when left to naturally ripe on its own… you know, when the green peel turns yellow with desirable amount of black spots. It still maintains some sweetness when purchased in its ripe state, but try out buying unripe plantain and storing in a cool dry place (Yes! 😆 I’d always wanted to use this phrase ) – it’s sweeter, you’ll thank my mother later.
🙄 IS THE KELEWELE SCOOPED OR COUNTED?
You need not take an Econ class to know this – there’s a high chance the seller who scoops the Kelewele is pretty confident of her handwriting and her earnings as compared to the seller who counts your Kelewele. She on the other hand is too careful, and of course, you wouldn’t need an excess of a bad handwriting when you start consuming it in any case… so yeah, that’s fair.
😯 WHAT TIME DOES THE KELEWELE SELLER OPERATE?
Here is the crucial part of this study. It will surprise you to know that Novice Kelewele Sellers only think it’s best to operate at night, and it’s actually okay to mess around with our fretful appetite. Responses to a little research into why they operate this way were, “everyone eats Kelewele at night”, “it’s spicy so the barmen buy it with their drinks at night”, “most Ghanaians don’t like spicy foods during the day”
Kelewele is sold during the day too. After approximately 2wks thorough study, I concluded that, Kelewele is spicier as the sun sets. Between 12pm and 3pm, Kelewele tastes like seasoned plantain only, not or less spicy at all. By 4pm to 7pm it gets spicier on the regular. From 8pm till the Kelewele seller closes, that is when the original nature divulges itself, and unless you like that burning sensation on your tongue, please do not get any chilled fizzy drink. Stick with the groundnuts/peanuts combination if you don’t have a sensitive skin that reacts with pimples on your face and chests.
In roughly 14 days, I’ve missed only 1 night of purchasing Kelewele but it doesn’t feel like an addiction yet.