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可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十二)Cocoa, the Green Gold of Ghana  

2013-06-04 18:15:42|  分类: 加纳记忆 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
    第一次接触可可,是在泰特·夸西(Tetteh Quarshie)纪念医院。那里到处都生长着一种奇特的树,在国内从未看过,树的主干和侧干上结着一种绿色纺锤形的果实,旁边还开着粉白色小花。孤陋寡闻,一问才知道这就是可可树。对于可可,真的没有什么概念,除了知道是制作巧克力的原料外,其余都是空白。这次亲眼见到可可树,却很难将它和美味的巧克力联系起来。进一步了解,才知道巧克力是用可可的种子制成的。国内生产巧克力的原料很多都不是真正的天然可可粉,而是代可可脂。这是一种油脂经过一系列复杂的化学物理过程制成的物质,对人体有一定的危害,长期使用可引发疾病,而真正的天然可可脂为非饱和脂肪酸,对身体大有裨益。
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
    通过与医院化验室的黑人朋友闲聊,得知可可原产于南美亚马孙河流域,并非加纳本土作物。1879年一位名叫泰特·夸西的铁匠首次从费尔南多波岛带回六颗可可种子,栽种在离首都阿克拉二十多英里的地方。由于加纳南部气候湿热,适应可可生长,可可树逐渐地繁茂起来。用在加纳种植的可可制作的巧克力品质极高,闻名于世。以前加纳是世界最大的可可生产和出口国,近些年由于虫害和其他原因,屈居第二,但仍是加纳国民经济的主要增长点。加纳人民喜爱之情溢于言表,亲切地称之为“绿色黄金”。
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚    有人认为泰特·夸西不是第一个将可可种子带回加纳的人,之前已有人这么做过,但在加纳生长得不是很好。其实是谁第一个带回种子并不重要,重要的是在泰特·夸西的带动下,加纳人民广泛种植可可,使之成为加纳经济命脉。因此,人们亲切地称泰特·夸西为“可可之父”。为了纪念他的功绩,在他去世后人们为他立碑塑像,并建立了设施一流的泰特·夸西纪念医院。人们还在他当年种可可的地方树起一块木牌,上面写着“1877年种下的第一批树中的一棵

  每年10月至次年1月是可可果的收获季节,果实由绿变黄是采摘信号。可可果荚中一般含有20-50粒乳白色可可豆,人们用芭蕉叶上下覆盖将其放在树荫下发酵5天,然后放在竹板上进行晾晒,而不是烘干,这是加纳加工可可豆的独特之处。

可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚

  加纳的巧克力吃过几次,非常苦涩,不像国内的那么甜,当时还无知的评价味道不过如此。后来才了解到真正的巧克力就是苦的,甜味是添加剂,而且对身体不好。有时候对人性真的很感慨,人们总是被感官所迷惑,对于美食大快朵颐,对苦涩食物却置之不理,殊不知在甘甜的外表下危机重重,但我们总是乐此不疲地“牡丹花下死,做鬼也风流”。

可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚

 可可是加纳经济现代化的根基。从农村到市场,诞生了一系列与可可相关的生产部门。柏油路修到家家户户的门口,镇上有收购商、运输公司、技术站、农药店等,城市里还有巧克力工厂。特马和塔科拉迪两大港口当年也是为种植在远离港口地区的可可出口而建。交通等基础设施的建设使加纳的经济远远走在了其他非洲国家的前面。

  可可在推动加纳的独立进程和现代政治发展中起着不可或缺的作用。加纳是非洲较早获得独立的国家,这与因可可而富裕起来的部落酋长、富裕农民和经销商等密切相关,他们是独立运动的中坚力量。追根溯源加纳的独立史,处处都可以看到可可的身影。


 
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
    
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
     My first contact with cocoa was at Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital, where a kind of special tree was growing there everywhere with a lot of green spindle-like fruits and small pinkish flowers on the side of the trunk and branches. After enquiry I knew it was cocoa tree. To the cocoa what I only knew was that it was the raw material for making chocolate. I never saw a real cocoa tree in China, so was naturally not able to associate it with delicious chocolate. Further enquiry from the internet told me that in China a lot of chocolate was made by cocoa butter substitute instead of real cocoa powder. As a kind of harmful fat made from oil through a serious of complicated chemical and physical processes the cocoa butter substitute is harmful to the health of human body if taken in long term while the real natural cocoa fat is the vice versa because it is unsaturated fatty acid.

Talking with a local friend in the lab of the hospital I knew the cocoa trees were not local but originally came from Amazon River basin of South America. In 1879, a blacksmith named Tetteh Quarshie brought six cocoa seeds from Fernando Island and planted them in a place 20 miles south of capital Accra whose humid weather was suitable for the growth of cocoa trees. Gradually the tree grew lavish and began to bear fruit. The quality of chocolate made from the cocoa grown there was quiet high and soon it became renowned worldwide. Ghana had been the largest producer and exporter of chocolate in the world but due to recent insect pest disaster and other influences it ranks the second now. Despite that cocoa growing is still the major growth point of national economy. The Ghanaians love cocoa so much that they affectionately call it “the green gold”.  

可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚

Some claimed that Tetteh Quarshie was not the first person who brought cocoa seed to Ghana, for somebody had done that before but the seeds didn’t grow well. As a matter of fact, it is not that important who brought the seed first, what is important is that under the influence of Tetteh Quarshie the Ghanaians began to grow cocoa wildly to make it the national economic lifeline. So people intimately call him “the father of cocoa”. In order to memorize him people built up a memorial and also a hospital with first rate equipment near the place where he first planted the cocoa seeds. There people also set up a sign beside the cocoa trees he planted then with the writing “one of the original trees planted, year: 1879”.

The harvest season for cocoa is from October to next January when the fruit turns yellow. Usually there are 20-50 milk white cocoa beans in one fruit. The specialty of processing cocoa beans in Ghana is that instead of ustulation (heat-dry) people cover the beans with the banana leaves under the shade to ferment for 5 days and then dry them on bamboo plates, which is unique to Ghana.

I had tasted chocolate made in Ghana several times and my ignorant comment was that the chocolate made there was very bitter and not more than that. Later when I came back to China I knew that the real chocolate is bitter and the taste of sweetness is additive which is bad for health. Sometimes I really feel so puzzled about human nature. People are always enchanted easily by sensuality, glutting with delicacies but ignoring bitter and astringent things. Hardly realizing the risks and crises under the beautiful disguises, they are deeply infatuated themselves in such kind of things tirelessly, just like “a man who infatuated in mating beautiful females proud of dying romantically”.

Cocoa industry is the foundation of Ghana’s economy. From planting to marketing a series of production departments related to cocoa was established. Asphalt roads were built to the gates of every household and purchaser and transportation companies, technical stations, farm chemical shops were established. Chocolate processing mills were also built in cities. Tema and Takoradi were originally built for the convenience of exportation of cocoa for the plantations far away from harbours. All these efforts make Ghana’s economy develop much faster than the other African countries.

 

    Cocoa played an indispensable role in the process of independence and the development of modern politics in Ghana. As the hard core, tribe chiefs, peasants and dealers who became rich because of growing cocoa contributed greatly to the independence of Ghana. Tracing the independence history of Ghana cocoa’s influence could be seen everywhere. 

可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
 
 
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
 

 

 
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
 
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
 

 
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
 
可可,加纳的绿色黄金——忆加纳(十三)Cocoa, the Green Gold Of Ghana - 飚 - 飚
 

(1842-1892) Tetteh Quarshie's travels to Fernando Po (now Bioko in today's Equatorial Guinea), was to transform the economy of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) with his introduction of cocoa beans on his return. Hitherto, palm-oil and rubber were the main staple industries in Ghana.
Tetteh Quarshie was born in 1842 to a farmer from Teshie known as Mlekuboi. His mother was known as Ashong-Fio from Labadi, both hailing from the Ga-Dangme ethnic group. Tetteh Quarshie served as an apprentice in a Blacksmith's shop at Akropong belonging to the Basel Missionaries. Due to his hardwork he soon became a Master blacksmith. Tetteh Quarshie was in fact the first blacksmith to be established at Akwapim-Mampong. His hobby was farming.
In 1870, Tetteh Quarshie undertook a voyage to Fernando Po (Bioko in Equatorial Guinea). About six years later he returned to Ghana with several cocoa beans (the Amelonado) and made history.
At this point we must ask ourselves, was Tetteh Quarshie really the first person to introduce cocoa to Ghana? This very question was asked during the administration of Sir Gordon Guggisberg, the British Governor of the Gold Coast from 1919-1927. Sir William Brandford Griffith (Governor of the Gold Coast in 1880 and 1885) claimed it was his father, Sir W. Brandford Griffith who deserved that honor. The Basel Missionaries also claimed to have experimented with the cocoa beans in Ghana as noted in their diaries.
Sir Gordon Guggisberg decided to fully investigate the various claims. As noted in D.H. Simpson's "Gold Coast Men of Affairs," (p. 208);
"Sir Gordon Guggisberg, who carefully went into the matter saw (1) that the fact that Government found it necessary many a time to institute inquiries is ipso facto proof that cocoa first found its way into the Gold Coast through a channel rather than Government's, (2) that it was impossible that the Gold Coast Government could have failed to record or to give credit to such a distinguished personage as the late Governor Griffith if he were responsible for the introduction of cocoa into the colony, (3) that it was not likely that such responsible Officers as Mr. Gerald C. Dudgeon, Superintendant of Agriculture, and the late Mr.W.S.D. Tudhope, Director of Agriculture, would report that cocoa was first brought into the Gold Coast by Tetteh Quarshie without exhaustive inquiry having been previously made -- a fact which is recognized by the Gold Coast Board of Education who have associated Tetteh Quarshie's name with cocoa."
In 1879 Tetteh Quarshie planted the seeds at Mampong with some success. Friends and relatives also undertook the planting of cocoa when pods were distributed to them. Soon other farmers followed suit. It was only at this point that the Basel Missionaries stepped into the picture by importing large quantities of the crop into the country. From the Gold Coast (Ghana) cocoa beans or cuttings were sent to other countries like Nigeria and Sierra leone. The export of cocoa from Ghana began in 1891, the official exported in 1893 (two bags exported). Ghana once provided almost half of world output. Between 1910 and 1980 Ghana was the world's largest exporter. This position was ceded due to bush fires etc. However ghana's cocoa is still of the higest quality and the country earns hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the export of the beans and processed materials.
Tetteh Quarshie "kicked the bucket" on Christmas Day of 1892. A great soul had gone to rest. His relatives made a petition to the Gold Coast Government on February 25th, 1925 for a grant for the upkeep of some of Tetteh Quarshie's relatives. The then Ghanaian Vice-Principal of Achimota College, Dr. J.E.K. Aggrey strenously took up the appeal. His friend, Sir Gordon Guggisberg set up the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Scholarship at Achimota College. Other honors were bestowed on him. Another petition was made in 1927 and the Government gave a sum of only 250 pounds, although Nana Sir Ofori Atta, speaking in the Legislative Council asked for 2,500 pounds, supported by Kojo Thompson.
As the late Ghanaian Lawyer and Anthropologist, Dr. Isaac Ephson says in his "Gallery of Gold Coast Celebrities," (p. 64)
"This took the form of a more enduring memorial, which was set up at Achimota in honour of the pioneer of Ghana's staple crop and the principal bulwark of the country's economy. The memorial is Tetteh Quarshie House. And since Independence (1957) the Government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah after petitions from Dr. J.B. Danquah and the Eastern Region House of Chiefs, has built a first class hospital and fittingly named it after him at Mampong-Akwapim - TETTEH QUARSHIE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL.



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