It is brandless and nameless, but the strategically located mobile sugarcane juice stall at Capital Shoppers Supermarket - Ntinda is fast gaining popularity.
The delicate extraction process itself is an inviting attraction for passersby, but so is the fresh, natural thirst-quenching sugarcane juice.
It is made from the soft green ‘Goa’ sugarcanes and can be fortified with lime, ginger or the medicinal mondia whitei (mulondo) depending on personal preference.
The juice is dense with a tropical lasting fresh sweet taste and leaves behind an aromatic aftertaste. It is juice made on the go and if you don’t witness the extraction, you may not believe that no processed sugar was added.
A 300ml glass is sold at Shs 4,000, but it is unlikely that you will take just one glass – it is too addictive. A three-litre takeaway jerrican costs Shs 20,000 and five litres at Shs 30,000. This rising popularity of sugarcane juice is in tandem with the rising sugarcane eating craze.
In almost every corner of the city there is a wooden wheelbarrow or bicycle selling sugarcane that can be peeled on request.
It is still unclear whether this has to do with the cheap pricing and hot weather. It is a healthy snack that appeals to both the elites and the low-earners.
From as little as Shs 500, one can get themselves a sugarcane snack but the health benefits especially for pregnant women, diabetic patients, cancer and urinary tract infection patients, to good skin, anti-ageing properties, etc, are enormous.
Although Uganda produces the most sugarcane in East Africa, cane juice is largely synonymous with Tanzania and Zanzibar.
With a coconut mix, sugarcane juice can be so tasty especially in the tropical heat; little wonder Pakistan declared it the national drink.