Macabo: Chip Does it Itch?

Made with both white and red cocoyam (Macabo), the chips fried with vegetable oil still baffles many.

One of the species of cocoyam popularly known as Macabo, is known for itching if not boiled for a long time. Most people boil and eat with vegetable soup while other crush it to paste, wrap in leaves and eat with slimy soup like okra or with soup prepared with palm fruit oil as eaten in the South West region of Cameroon. Another form of eating Macabo that has marvelled many is by frying the raw version of it. According to the CEO of Dream Services that produces the chips, Fandio Wandji Josiane, the idea of making chips came as a result of curiosity. She disclosed that if Macabo that itches can be eaten in its boiled form, it can also be fried as sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and plantains. As she tried for the first time, she thought that after eating, her oesophagus will peel due to terrible itching but to her greatest surprise, she felt no itches and that was how she made some for friends and relatives who encourage her to produce on a large scale for the public.

Production evolution has been steady since she started a year back. From 5kg at the beginning, she moved to 10kg daily then to 16kg and at press time, she produces 20kg of Macabo chips daily. The 60g content of Macabo chips, with quality transparent packaging that whets the appetite instantly cost FCFA 500 and is sold in some shops in Douala. Though still at the initial stage, about 98 per cent of people that have tasted the crispy Macabo chips gives a thumbs up to the Dream Services. Some are still to understand the puzzle behind its not itching which to the producer is a professional secret that needs not be easily unravelled. With a better Macabo slicer, two extra hands and enough sensitization, Fandio Wandji Josiane disclosed she will go up to 100kg daily.

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