Answered: Why ‘Gari’ Is Free For Beans(Gorbe) But Not Free For ‘Waakye’



Welcome home valued readers!

To be honest with you, for about a year, I have been exposed to the thought grabbing question about why ‘gari’ is free when you buy ‘yoor k3 gari’ but not so for ‘waakye’ although I can’t really tell if it is supposed to be a funny question or it is just meant to pause our minds and think; making the question rhetorical.

‘Yoor k3 gari’ is a type of Ghanaian meal made from beans, ripped plantain and ‘gari’ (main ingredients) as the name literally gives away.

It is known as beans and ‘dodo’ in Nigeria but famously known as ‘gorbe, yoor k3 gari, borbor, beans ne k)k)) and red red’ in Ghana.On the other hand, ‘waakye’ is a street food made from rice and beans with its origin from the Northern part of Ghana and pronounced as /WAA – CHAY/.

Verily verily, I love to eat ‘waakye’ and ‘yoor k3 gari.’ The most original ‘waakye’ is the one sold beside the gutter… ha! These two Ghanaian foods are a delicacy if well prepared.


Some of the major ingredients they share are beans (blacked eyed beans), Bicarbonate of Soda (popularly known as ‘kewu’ among Ghanaians) to soften the beans and fasten the cooking process and our Ghanaian all puporse and friend of all; ‘gari.’ Usually, they are both served on large green plantain leaves rather than polythene.

Is the gari added to ‘gorbe’ really free?

We all need to understand that ‘gari’ is not free when you buy ‘waakye’ and the case is not different even with ‘gorbe.’

As an ardent consumer of ‘gorbe,’ I have from many years of eating and purchasing experiences have observed that if you buy ‘gorbe,’ the quantity of beans you are served increases anytime you decide not to take ‘gari.’ To avoid any cheating attempt by the vendor, I pay attention when I’m being served and that is how I came to the realisation that ‘gari’ from the ‘gorbe’ vendor is not actually free.

In certain instances, you can even ask for more ‘gari.’ However, in this case, the beans will be slightly reduced. T

trick to avoid this is to wait for the vendor to dish out the ‘gari,’ inform her that you would like extra ‘gari.’ If you tell her before she dishes out the beans, it shall be reduced.

However, some vendors are not afraid to scoop back at least a spoon of beans if you try that trick on them, while others don’t mind giving you extra ‘gari’ because the charge of the ‘gari’ is hidden in your unassumingly prix fixe dish.

This also happens with buying ‘kooko’ (porridge) without sugar. The usual amount of ‘kooko’ you are given is increased should you decide not to take sugar. Sometimes consumers who buy with money lower than the recommended cost are pardoned and served anyways should they decide not to take sugar.

I sometimes buy ‘kooko’ without sugar not only because I already have sugar in my refrigerator at home but also because I can do with a little more porridge for that day’s breakfast.

‘Gari’ of ‘gorbe’ is not free because ‘gorbe’ is considered as one meal and not two separate meals by the vendors.

Thus, the price automatically covers both the ‘gari’ and the beans as though they are inseparable. This is just like a prix fixe or table d’hôte dish at a restaurant. However, the good news is that no one is really cheated since no ‘gari’ means extra beans for you.

The ‘gari’ that would have been given to you if you had preferred, has been replaced for small extra beans. This means whether you want ‘gari’ with your ‘beans ne k)k))’ or not, the money charged by the vendor covers both.

If you think the ‘gari’ is actually free then how do the vendors make up for the cost of the ‘gari’ they purchased? Everything has already been calculated for together with the expected profit.

And even though ‘gorbe’ seems incomplete without ‘gari,’ there are actually quite reasons why one does not want to take ‘gari.’ Perhaps, the consumer already has ‘gari’ at home and thus wants the extra small beans with something else like I do with ‘Nkran Domino’ (Ga kenkey), boiled yam and rice.

Please let it not come to mind that Aunty Mumuni is wrongly charging you for ‘gari’ when you buy her ‘waakye.’ Besides, one can still enjoy ‘waakye’ even without ‘gari.’ I rarely buy ‘gari’ when taking ‘waakye’ because I like it dry and white unlike the wet and oiled one sold by the vendors.

I just sprinkle as much as I want when I get home. I sometimes do the sprinkling with ‘gorbe.’ As for those who add fish, egg and slices of pear to their ‘waakye’ and ‘gorbe’ nu…… ‘Me ma mo ayekoo!’ (Congratulations)

Whether you take ‘gari,’ refuse to take ‘gari’ or even ask for extra ‘gari,’ the price has already been estimated into the amount you are charged. There is no free lunch in this world and even ‘gorbe’ is not an exception.

Thank you so much. Please don’t forget to share this knowledge.

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