Gangina is a conventional method of keeping grapes and other fruits fresh for many months by storing them in air-tight containers made of wet soil.
Grapes are difficult to keep fresh for prolonged durations of time, even if refrigeration is available. Still, by its looks, the Afghans have been using an old method of storing the soft fruits fresh for use in the winter months, when fresh fruits are otherwise rare to come by.
Known as gangina, this ancient conservation technique requires sealing healthy grapes in a saucer-shaped container made of two wet soil layers.
The container is placed in the sun to dry and then stored in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. If stored correctly, gangina containers can have grapes picked in autumn fresh until next year’s spring season.
“We should get rid of the broken grapes first, then place them in gangina. If we put the broken ones in gangina, it will rot all the other grapes,” farmer Abdul Manan stated, adding that it is important that only healthy grapes be stored this way, as even one spoiled grape can otherwise spoil a whole batch.
Gangina containers have to be air-tight and kept in a cool, dark place to let the fruits inside stay fresh. In winter or in spring, when the requirement for fruits grows, and with it the price people are eager to pay, farmers like Abdul Manan take out their stock of gangina-kept grapes and sell them for profit. Each container has about a kilogram of grapes.
“We are storing lots of grapes in Gangina and will sell it in the winter or spring,” grape farmer Askar told the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture. “By this way, we will get a decent income.”
Talking about ways to keep fruits fresh, were you aware of this smart sticker that can keep fruits from rotting for up to 14 days?