Ubiquitous in production across Central and West Africa (as well as other regions of the world), palm oil has been lubing and frying things around the world for a couple of centuries now. It is such a cheap oil in a world sense that it can be found just about everywhere. Of course, the debate rages on as to whether it is healthy or not, can be a sustainable agricultural product or not, or can be used for biofuels… or not.
I have no interest in getting in to that, but since my family has started producing a very small amount of olive oil just recently, I’ve gone cuckoo for oil different oil production methods. I’m sure that some videos exist showing palm oil production in full, but the BBC has a nice photo montage showing the preparation process on the local scale in Nigeria from picking to pressing.
Oh, as a small note, it was interesting to read in that Wikipedia article I linked to above that, much as is the case with olive oil, the unrefined palm oil is much healthier than the refined. Something to keep in mind the next time you’re making sambusas, one of my personal favorite snack foods, although I often make a meal out of them.
The Illustrated Making of Palm Oil