Fish smoking practices in Burundi

Credit: Alain Murekambanze (Burundi)

Smoking is a method of preserving a food by smoke exposure. Traditionally, ovens consist of a pit about 30 cm deep, built by craftsmen processing before the smoking process. These traditional smokehouses, permanent or temporary, are often situated within a plot of artisans to enable them, usually women, to conduct jointly with other family activities.

Traditional smoking: The traditional procedure of smoking takes place just above the pit. Large branches of fuel wood are placed at the bottom of the pit and lit a bright fire. Fish is usually smoked in whole without prior removal of gills and intestines. The caudal fin of the fish is going into the hole of the gills and the fish and form a circle. These are then disposed one after the other on a branch timber which is then placed on top of the pit. A maximum of sixty four twenty fish (equivalent to eight to nine branches placed parallel one to another and carrying eight to ten fish each) can be smoke simultaneously.

“Chorkor fish smoking”: The smoker type chorkor has evolved from the traditional cylindrical furnace. Building of “chorkor” is based on compact clay or terracotta, and brick. The construction is easy and building materials are generally available at the village level. Trays are used in these smokers whereas the loading capacity of the smoker depends on the number and size of the trays. This system has proven to be in line with the traditions of smoking used by African women.

Burundi - fish smoking (01) Burundi - fish smoking (02)



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