Sunyani, March 25, GNA –The demand and consumption of “Etor”, a traditionally prepared celebratory meal, is in high demand in the Bono Regional capital of Sunyani.
It has become the favourite dish of some workers, both in public and private sectors, and other residents of the city. They mostly buy and consume the meal during lunch time.
‘Etor’ is prepared with boiled or roasted plantain, cocoyam or yam, and mixed with heated palm oil. However, the mash, prepared with roasted yam or cocoyam is the favourite of many.
Gradually, the dish has turned into a lucrative business for middle-aged women, who are excited about their huge sales.
The business has, therefore, attracted some food vendors hitherto selling roasted yams, plantain, and cocoyam served with either roasted groundnuts or “Koobi” (salted dry tilapia).
As the nation prosecute the “Ghana Month Campaign”, a Ghana News Agency (GNA) market monitoring witnessed a high patronage of the dish, previously eaten on special occasions to celebrate birthdays, puberty, marriages, festivals, among others.
Ghana Month Campaign
The “Ghana Month”, observed in March to commemorate Ghana’s independence from colonial rule, highlights indigenous products, foods and services, cultural heritage, tourist and historical sites, achievers, natural resources, among others.
Joyce, a Level 200 Student of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, said, “This is one of my favourite traditional dishes. I like taking it every afternoon and whenever I eat it, I drink a lot of water. The food can sustain me till night time.”
“In fact, I really enjoyed it.”
This indigene of Sunyani finds the meal not only nutritious, but cost saving, as a student.
The GNA caught up with her at about 1300 hours at a popular “Etor” joint at the Sunyani Business Central District, where the reporter also patronises the meal.
Other customers were also around, waiting patiently to be served by the middle-aged woman, only known as Mama Cecilia, as she sat busily behind heated fire to roast yams and cocoyam for the tasty mash.
Some of the patrons said they enjoyed the meal because of its nutritional value.
Mama Cecilia, like others in the business, would use her bare fingers as thongs to turn the yams and cocoyam on the rack over the fire to ensure the cut tubers were well cooked.
Thereafter, she would place fresh pepper and onions in a locally made earthen grinding bowl, add a little salt, roasted groundnuts and grind them together before she would add either roasted yams or cocoyam.
Each of the ingredients is reported to be very nutritious for a balanced meal and a healthy life.
According to health experts, groundnuts contribute to weight loss and reduce the risk of heart and kidney diseases, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.
Yams are known to facilitate digestion, while eggs provide a good source of inexpensive high-quality protein. The pepper and onions and other vegetables are also high in minerals and antioxidants and boost the body’s immune system.
The cost of “Etor”, which ranges between GH¢ 5.00 and GH¢ 10.00
depends on the quantity and the accompaniment - eggs, peanuts, avocado pear or ‘koobi’ (dry salted tilapia). Of course, the choice with groundnuts goes for a lower rate.
Mama Cecilia, however, explains that her profit margin had been declining in recent times because of the sharp increase in the price of charcoal in the Sunyani Municipality.
The price of a bag of charcoal, which ranged between GH¢ 25.00 and GH¢ 30.00 last year, now sold between GH¢ 45.00 and GH¢ 60.00, she says.
“This is actually affecting my business because my customers also complain about the reduction in the quantity of the food I serve now for the price they pay,” she added. “Prices of tubers of yams and cocoyam in the market have also increased for some time now”.
Asked about how she was coping with the heat from the fire, Mama Cecilia says it is unpleasant, but as a single parent, she has no other option than to remain in business for the upkeep of her family.
She says she has been diagnosed of high blood pressure, adding that because she stood on her feet for longer hours, she sometimes experienced some unusual pains around her waist.
Regardless of the challenges they have to surmount, Etor vendors in Sunyani are not daunted, for the high demand is motivating enough to even attract competitors from the neighbouring Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi.
Most of these vendors were always seen around public places.
“I have many customers that I serve here,” one of the vendors, spotted at the frontage of the COCOBOD building said.
“The ‘Etor’ business in Sunyani is good. Four of us prepare the dish in Kumasi and travel to Sunyani to sell”.
“We come here every day to sell, and in fact we are making huge profits. We use ripe plantain to prepare our meal. Try and see and you will enjoy it,” Yaa Anima, said.