Iru (fermented locust beans) has been used for centuries across West Africa for its delicious and healthful properties. Rich in protein and natural fats, it imparts a deep umami flavor to savory or sweet dishes. It’s the fermented bean of the Nigerian Locust Tree and it has an incredible, complex flavor, somewhere in between chocolate, miso, and cheese.
Despite its wide applications across West African cuisine, it’s still surprisingly difficult to find in the US, especially in dry bean form.
- Origin: Ilaro, Ogun State, Nigeria
- Aliases: Dadawa / dawadawa, ogiri, ogirisi, ugba, netetou, kainda, soumbala
- Process: Boiled, fermented and sun-dried
- Ingredients: 100% fermented locust beans (Parkia biglobosa)
- Tasting notes: Dark Chocolate • Roasted Nuts • Mild Cheese • Miso